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THE 



POETICAL AND PROSE WORKS 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 

I! 



WITH LIFE 
BY ROBERT SOUTHEY, LL.D. 



diaftt ©ngratrotQS en ®teet 



GALL & INGLIS, 38 NORTH BRIDGE. 

LONDON: HOULSTON & STONEMAN. 






^ (Sift 
Herbert Pelt 
March 18, 1943 



I 
I 






LIFE 



OP 



HENRY KIEKE WHITE. 



LIFE 

OF 

HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 

BY ROBERT SOUTJEEY. 



It fell to my lot to publish, with the assistance of my 
friend Mr Cottle, the first collected edition of the works 
of Chatterton, in whose history I felt a more than ordi- 
nary interest, as being a native of the same city, familiar 
from my childhood with those great objects of art and 
nature by which he had been so deeply impressed, and 
devoted from my childhood with the same ardour to the 
same pursuits. It is now my fortune to lay before the 
world some account of one whose early death is not less 
to be lamented as a loss to English literature, and whose 
virtues were as admirable as his genius. In the present 
instance, there is nothing to be recorded but what is 
honourable to himself, and to the age in which he lived ; 
little to be regretted, but that one so ripe for heaven 
should so soon have been removed from the world. 

Henry Kirke White, the second son of John and 
Mary White, was born in Nottingham, March 21st, 
1785. His father is a butcher; his mother, whose 
maiden name was Neville, is of a respectable Stafford- 
shire family. 

From the years of three till five, Henry learnt to read 
at the school of Mrs Garrington ; whose name, unim- 



LIFE OF 



portant as it may appear, is mentioned, because she had 
the good sense to perceive his extraordinary capacity, 
and spoke of what it promised with confidence. She 
was an excellent woman, and he describes her with 
affection in his poem upon Childhood. At a very early 
age his love of reading was decidedly manifested ; it was 
a passion to which everything else gave way. " I could 
fancy," says his eldest sister, " I see him in his little 
chair, with a large book upon his knee, and my mother 
calling, * Henry, my love, come to dinner ;' which was 
repeated so often without being regarded, that she was 
obliged to change the tone of her voice before she could 
rouse him." When he was about seven, he would creep 
unperceived into the kitchen, to teach the servant to read 
and write ; and he continued this for some time before 
it was discovered that he had been thus laudably em- 
ployed. He wrote a tale of a Swiss emigrant, which 
was probably his first composition, and gave it to this 
servant, being ashamed to show it to his mother. The 
consciousness of genius is always at first accompanied 
with this diffidence ; it is a sacred, solitary feeling. No 
forward child, however extraordinary the promise of his 
childhood, ever produced anything truly great. 

When Henry was about six, he was placed under the 
Rev. John Blanchard, who kept, at that time, the best 
school in Nottingham. Here he learnt writing, arith- 
metic, and French. When he was about eleven, he one 
day wrote a separate theme for every boy in his class, 
which consisted of about twelve or fourteen. The master 
said he had never known them write so well upon any 
subject before, and could not refrain from expressing his 
astonishment at the excellence of Henry's. It was con- 
sidered as a great thing for him to be at so good a school, 
yet there were some circumstances which rendered it less 
advantageous to him than it might have been. Mrs 
White had not yet overcome her husband's intention of 
breeding him up to his own business : and by an arrange- 
which took up too much of his time, and would have 
crushed his spirit, if that " mounting spirit" could have 
been crushed, one whole day in the week, and his leisure 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE* Vll 

hours on the others, were employed in carrying the 
butcher's basket. Some differences at length arose be- 
tween his father and Mr Blanchard, in consequence of 
which Henry was removed. 

One of the ushers, when he came to receive the money 
due for tuition, took the opportunity of informing Mrs 
White what an incorrigible son she had, and that it was 
impossible to make the lad do anything. This infor- 
mation made his friends very uneasy ; they were dispirited 
about him ; and had they relied wholly upon this report, 
the stupidity or malice of this man would have blasted 
Henry's progress for ever. He w r as, however, placed 
under the care of a Mr Shipley, who soon discovered 
that he was a boy of quick perception and very admir- 
able talents, and came with joy, like a good man, to re- 
lieve the anxiety and painful suspicions of his family. 

While his schoolmasters were complaining that they 
could make nothing of him, he discovered what Nature 
had made him, and wrote satires upon them. These 
pieces were never shown to any except his most parti- 
cular friends, who say that they were pointed and severe. 
They are enumerated in the table of Contents to one of 
his manuscript volumes, under the title of School-Lam- 
poons ; but, as was to be expected, he had cut the leaves 
out and destroyed them. 

One of his poems written at this time, and under these 
feelings, is preserved. 

ON BEING CONFINED TO SCHOOL ONE PLEASANT 
MORNING IN SPRING. 
(written at the age of thirteen.) 
The morning sun's enchanting rays 
Now call forth every songster's praise ; 
Now the lark with upward flight, 
Gaily ushers in the light ; 
While wildly warbling from each tree, 
The birds sing songs to liberty. 

But for me no songster sings, 
For me no joyous lark up-springs ; 
For I, confin'd in gloomy school, 



Till LIFE OF 

Must own the pedant's iron rule, 
And far from sylvan shades and bowers, 
In durance vile must pass the hours ; 
There con the scholiast's dreary lines, 
Where no bright ray of genius shines, 
And close to rugged learning cling, 
While laughs around the jocund spring. 

How gladly would my soul forego 
All that arithmeticians know, 
Or stiff grammarians quaintly teach, 
Or all that industry can reach, 
To taste each morn of all the joys 
That with the laughing sun arise ; 
And nneonstrain'd to rove along 
The bushy brakes and glens among ; 
And woo the muse's gentle power 
In unfrequented rural bower ! 
But ah ! such heav'n-approaching joys 
Will never greet my longing eyes ; 
Still will they cheat in vision fine, 
Yet never but in fancy shine. 

Oh, that I were the little wren 

That shrilly chirps from yonder glen ! 

Oh, far away I then would rove, 

To some secluded bushy grove ; 

There hop and sing with careless glee, 

Hop and sing at liberty ; 

And till death should stop my lays, 

And far from men would spend my days. 

About this time his mother was induced, by the advice 
of several friends, to open a ladies' boarding and day 
school in Nottingham, her eldest daughter having pre- 
viously been a teacher in one for some time. In this 
she succeeded beyond her most sanguine expectations, 
and Henry's home comforts were thus materially in- 
creased, though it was still out of the power of his family 
to give him that education and direction in life which 
his talents deserved and required. 

It was now determined to breed him up to the hosiery 
trade, the staple manufacture of his native place, and at 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 



the age of fourteen he was placed in a stocking-loom, with 
the view, at some future period, of getting a situation in 
a hosier's warehouse. During the time that he was thus 
employed, he might be said to be truly unhappy; he went 
to his work with evident reluctance, and could not re- 
frain from sometimes hinting his extreme aversion to it; 
but the circumstances of his family obliged them to turn 
a deaf ear. His temper and tone of mind at this pe- 
riod, when he was in his fourteenth year, are displayed 
in this extract from an Address to Contemplation. 

Thee do I own, the prompter of my joys, 

The soother of my cares, inspiring peace ; 

And I will ne'er forsake thee. Men may rave, 

And blame and censure me, that I don't tie 

My ev'ry thought down to the desk, and spend 

The morning of my life in adding figures 

"With accurate monotony ; that so 

The good things of the world may be my lot, 

And I might taste the blessedness of wealth : 

But, oh ! I was not made for money getting ; 

For me no much-respected plum awaits, 

Nor civic honour, envied — For as still 

I tried to cast with school dexterity 

The interesting sums my vagrant thoughts 

Would quick revert to many a woodland haunt, 

"Which fond remembrance cherish'd, and the pen 

Dropt from my senseless fingers as I pictur'd, 

In my mind's eye, how on the shores of Trent 

I erewhile wander'd with my early friends 

In social intercourse. And then I'd think 

How contrary pursuits had thrown us wide, 

One from the other, scatter'd o'er the globe ; 

They were set down with sober steadiness, 

Each to his occupation. I alone, 

A wayward youth, misled by Fancy's vagaries, 

Remain'd unsettled, insecure, and veering 

With ev'ry wind to ev'ry point o' th' compass. 

Yes, in the Counting House I could indulge 

In fits of close abstraction ; yea, amid 

The busy bustling crowds could meditate, 

And send my thoughts ten thousand leagues away 

Beyond the Atlantic, resting on my friend. 



X LIFE OF 

Aye, Contemplation, ev'n in earliest youth 

I woo'd thy heav'nly influence ! I would walk 

A weary way when all rny toils were done, 

To lay myself at night in some lone wood, 

And hear the sweet song of the nightingale. 

Oh, those were times of happiness, and still 

To memory doubly dear ; for growing years 

Had not then taught me man was made to mourn ; 

And a short hour of solitary pleasure, 

Stolen from sleep, was ample recompence 

For all the hateful bustles of the day. 

My op'ning mind was ductile then, and plastic, 

And soon the marks of care were worn away, 

While I was sway'd by every novel impulse, 

Yielding to all the fancies of the hour. 

But it has now assumed its character ; 

Mark'd by strong lineaments, its haughty tone, 

Like the firm oak, would sooner break than bend. 

Yet still, oh, Contemplation ! I do love 

To indulge thy solemn musings ; still the same 

With thee alone I know to melt and weep, 

In thee alone delighting. Why along 

The dusky track of commerce should I toil, 

When with an easy competence content, 

I can alone be happy ; where with thee 

I may enjoy the loveliness of Nature, 

And loose the wings of Fancy ! — Thus alone 

Can I partake of happiness on Earth ; 

And to be happy here is man's chief end, 

For to be happy he must needs be good. 

His mother, however, secretly felt that he was worthy 
of better things : to her he spoke more openly : he 
could not bear, he said, the thought of spending seven 
years of his life in shining and folding up stockings ; 
he wanted something to occupy his brain, and he should 
be wretched if he continued longer at this trade, or 
indeed in anything except one of the learned profes- 
sions. These frequent complaints, after a year's appli- 
cation, or rather misapplication (as his brother says), at 
the loom, convinced her that he had a mind destined for 
nobler pursuits. To one so situated, and with nothing 
but his own talents and exertions to depend upon, the 



HENHY KIPKE WHITE. 



Law seemed to be the only practical line. His affection- 
ate and excellent mother made every possible effort to 
effect his wishes, his father being very averse to the plan, 
and at length, after overcoming a variety of obstacles, 
he was fixed in the office of Messrs Coldham and Enfield, 
attorneys and town-clerks of Nottingham. As no pre- 
mium could be given with him, he was engaged to serve 
two years before he was articled, so that though he en- 
tered this office when he was fifteen, he was not articled 
till the commencement of the year 1802. 

On thus entering the law, it was recommended to him 
by his employers, that he should endeavour to obtain 
some knowledge of Latin. He had now only the little 
time which an attorney's office, in very extensive prac- 
tice, afforded ; but great things may be done in " those 
hours of leisure which even the busiest may create," * 
and to his ardent mind no obstacles were too discourag- 
ing. He received some instruction in the first rudiments 
of this language from a person who then resided at Not- 
tingham under a feigned name, but was soon obliged to 
leave it, to elude the search of government, who were 
then seeking to secure him. Henry discovered him to 
be Mr Cormick, from a print affixed to a continuation of 
Hume and Smollett, and published, with their histories, 
by Cooke. He is, I believe, the same person who wrote 
a life of Burke. If he received any other assistance, it 
was very trifling; yet, in the course of ten months, he 
enabled himself to read Horace with tolerable facility, 
and had made some progress in Greek, which indeed he 
began first. He used to exercise himself in declining 
the Greek nouns and verbs as he was going to and from 
the office, so valuable was time become to him. From 
this time he contracted a habit of employing his mind in 
study during his walks, which he continued to the end of 
his life. 

He now became almost estranged from his family ; 
even at his meals he would be reading, and his evenings 
were entirely devoted to intellectual improvement. He 
had a little room given him, which was called his study, 

* Turner's Preface to the History of the Anglo-Saxons. 



Xll LIFE OF 

and here his milk supper was taken up to him ; for, to 
avoid any loss of time, he refused to sup with his family, 
though earnestly entreated so to do, as his mother already 
began to dread the effects of this severe and unremitting 
application. The law was his first pursuit, to which his 
papers show he had applied himself with such industry, 
as to make it wonderful that he could have found time, 
busied as his days were, for anything else. Greek and 
Latin were the next objects ; at the same time he made 
himself a tolerable Italian scholar, and acquired some 
knowledge both of the Spanish and Portuguese. His 
medical friends say that the knowledge he had obtained 
of chemistry was very respectable. Astronomy and elec- 
tricity were among his studies ; some attention he paid 
to drawing, in which it is probable he would have ex- 
celled. He was passionately fond of music, and could 
play very pleasingly by ear on the pianoforte, composing 
the bass to the air he was playing ; but this propensity 
he checked, lest it might interfere with more important 
objects. He had a turn for mechanics, and all the fit- 
tings up of his study were the work of his own hands. 

At a very early age, indeed soon after he was taken 
from school, Henry was ambitious of being admitted a 
member of a Literary Society then existing in Notting- 
ham, but was objected to on account of his youth ; after 
repeated attempts, and repeated failures, he succeeded 
in his wish, through the exertions of some of his friends, 
and was elected. In a very short time, to the great sur- 
prise of the society, he proposed to give them a lecture, 
and they, probably from curiosity, acceded to the propo- 
sal. The next evening they assembled ; he lectured upon 
Genius, and spoke extempore for above two hours, in such 
a manner, that he received the unanimous thanks of the 
society, and they elected this young Roscius of oratory 
their Professor of Literature. There are certain courts 
at Nottingham, in which it is necessary for an attorney 
to plead ; and he wished to qualify himself for an elo- 
quent speaker, as well as a sound lawyer. 

With the profession in which he was placed, he was 
well pleased, and suffered no pursuit, numerous as his 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. Xlll 

pursuits were, to interfere in the slightest degree with 
its duties. Yet he soon began to have higher aspirations, 
and to cast a wistful eye toward the universities with 
little hope of ever attaining their important advantages, 
yet, probably, not without some hope, however faint. 
There was at this time a magazine in publication, called 
the Monthly Preceptor, which proposed prize themes for 
boys and girls to write upon ; and which was encouraged 
by many schoolmasters, some of whom, for their own 
credit, and that of the important institutions in which 
they were placed, should have known better than to en- 
courage it. But in schools, and in all practical systems 
of education, emulation is made the ^mainspring, as if 
there were not enough of the leaven of disquietude in our 
natures, without inoculating it with this dilutement — 
this vaccine-virus of envy. True it is, that we need en- 
couragement in youth ; that though our vices spring up 
and thrive in shade and darkness, like poisonous fungi, 
our better powers require light and air ; and that praise 
is the sunshine, without which genius w^ill wither, fade, 
and die : or rather in search of which, like a plant that 
is debarred from it, will push forth in contortions, and 
deformity. But such practices as that of writing for 
public prizes, of publicly declaiming, and of enacting 
plays before the neighbouring gentry, teach boys to look 
for applause instead of being satisfied with approbation, 
and foster in them that vanity which needs no such 
cherishing. This is administering stimulants to the heart, 
instead of " feeding it with food convenient for it ; " and 
the effect of such stimulants is to dwarf the human mind, 
as lapdogs are said to be stopped in their growth by being 
dosed with gin. Thus forced, it becomes like the sap- 
ling which shoots np when it should be striking its roots 
far and deep, and which therefore never attains to more 
than a sapling's size. 

To Henry, however, the opportunity of distinguishing 
himself, even in the Juvenile Library, was useful ; if he 
had acted with a man's foresight he could not have done 
more wisely than by aiming at every distinction within 
his little sphere. At the age of fifteen, he gained a sil- 



XIV LIFE OF 

ver medal for a translation from Horace ; and the fol- 
lowing year a pair of twelve inch globes, for an ima- 
ginary tour from London to Edinburgh. He determined 
upon trying for this prize one evening when at tea with 
his family, and at supper he read to them his perform- 
ance, to which seven pages were granted in the maga- 
zine, though they had limited the allowance of room to 
three. Shortly afterwards he won several books for ex- 
ercises on different subjects. Such honours were of great 
importance to him ; they were testimonies of his ability, 
which could not be suspected of partiality, and they r pre- 
pared his father to regard with less reluctance that change 
in his views and*wishes which afterwards took place. 

He now became a correspondent in the Monthly Mir- 
ror, a magazine whichfirst set the example of typographi- 
cal neatness in periodical publications, which has given 
the world a good series of portraits, and which deserves 
praise also on other accounts, having among its contribu- 
tors some persons of extensive erudition and acknowledged 
talents. Magazines are of great service to those who are 
learning to write ; they are fishing-boats, which the buc- 
caneers of literature do not condescend to sink, burn, and 
destroy : young poets may safely try their strength in 
them ; and that they should try their strength before the 
public, without danger of any shame from failure, is highly 
desirable. Henry's rapid improvement was now as re- 
markable as his unwearied industry. The pieces which 
had been rewarded in the Juvenile Preceptor, might have 
been rivalled by many boys ; but what he produced a year 
afterwards, few men could equal. Those which appeared 
in the Monthly Mirror attracted some notice, and intro- 
duced him to the acquaintance of Mr Capel Lofft, and of 
Mr Hill, the proprietor of the work, a gentleman who is 
himself a lover of English literature, and who has pro- 
bably the most copious collection of English poetry in ex- 
istence. Their encouragement induced him, about the 
close of the year 1802, to prepare & little volume of poems 
for the press. It was his hope that this publication might, 
either by the success of its sale, or the notice which it 
might excite, enable him to prosecute his studies at col- 



HENHY KIRKE WHITE. 



lege, and fit himself for the Church. For though so far 
was he from feeling any dislike to his own profession, 
that he was even attached to it, and had indulged a hope 
that one day or other he should make his way to the bar, 
a deafness, to which he had always been subject, and 
which appeared to grow progressively worse, threatened 
to preclude all possibility of advancement ; and his opi- 
nions, which had at one time inclined to deism, had now 
taken a strong devotional bias. 

Henry was earnestly advised to obtain, if possible, some 
patroness for his book, whose rank in life, and notoriety 
in the literary world, might afford it some protection. The 
days of dedications are happily w T ell nigh at an end ; but 
this was of importance to him, as giving his little volume 
consequence in the eyes of his friends and townsmen. 
The Countess of Derby was first applied to, and the manu- 
script submitted to her perusal. She returned it with 
a refusal, upon the ground that it was an invariable rule 
with her never to accept a compliment of the kind ; but 
this refusal was couched in language as kind as it was 
complimentary, and he felt more pleasure at the kindness 
which it expressed, than disappointment at the failure of 
his application ; a two pound note was inclosed as her 
subscription to the work. The Margravine of Anspach 
was also thought of. There is amongst his papers the 
draught of a letter addressed to her upon the subject, but 
I believe it was never sent. He was then recommended 
to apply to the Duchess of Devonshire. Poor Henry felt 
a fit repugnance at courting patronage in this way, but 
he felt that it was of consequence in his little world, and 
submitted ; and the manuscript was left, with a letter, at 
Devonshire House, as it had been with the Countess of 
Derby. Some time elapsed, and no answer arrived from 
her Grace ; and as she was known to be pestered with 
such applications, apprehensions began to be entertained 
for the safety of the papers. His brother Neville (who 
was now settled in London) called several times ; of 
course he never obtained an interview : the case at last 
became desperate, and he went with a determination not 
to quit the house till he had obtained them. After wait- 



XVI LIFE OF 



ing four hours in the servants' hall, his perseveranca con- 
quered their idle insolence, and he got possession of the 
manuscript. And here he, as well as his brother, sick of 
" dancing attendance" upon the great, would have relin- 
quished all thoughts of the dedication ; but they were 
urged to make one more trial : — a letter to her Grace was 
procured, with which Neville obtained audience, wisely 
leaving the manuscript at home ; and the Duchess, with 
her usual good nature, gave permission that the volume 
should be dedicated to her. Accordingly her name ap- 
peared in the title page, and a copy was transmitted to 
her in due form, and in its due morocco livery, of which 
no notice was ever taken. Involved as she was in an 
endless round of miserable follies, it is probable that she 
never opened the book ; otherwise her heart was good 
enough to have felt a pleasure in encouraging the author. 
Oh, what a lesson would the history of that heart hold 
out ! 

Henry sent his little volume* to each of the then ex- 

* The following is the original preface to the volume : — The follow- 
ing attempts in verse are laid before the public with extreme diffi- 
dence. The Author is very conscious that the juvenile efforts of a youth 
who has not received the polish of academical discipline, and who has 
been but sparingly blessed with opportunities for the prosecution of 
scholastic pursuits, must necessarily be defective in the accuracy and 
finished elegance which mark the works of the man who has passed 
his life in the retirement of his study, furnishing his mind with images, 
and at the same time attaining the power of disposing those images to 
the best advantage. 

The unpremeditated effusions of a boy, from his thirteenth year, em- 
ployed, not in the acquisition of literary information, but in the more 
active business of life, must not be expected to exhibit any considerable 
portion of the correctness of a "Virgil, or the vigorous compression of a 
Horace. Men are not, I believe, frequently known to bestow much 
labour on their amusements; and these poems were, most of them, 
written merely to beguile a leisure hour, or to fill up the languid in- 
tervals of studies of a severer nature. 

TIcc? to oDtsio? spyov ocyctTaco. " Every one loves his own work," 
says the Stagyrite ; but it was no overweening affection of this kind 
which induced this publication. Had the Author relied on his own 
judgment only, these poems would not, in all probability, ever have 
seen the light. . 

Perhaps it may be asked of him, what arc his motives for this publi- 
cation ? He answers— simply these: the facilitation through its means 
of tb.o4 studies which, from his earliest infancy, have been the prin- 
cinal obiects of his ambition ; and the increase of the capacity to pur- 
sue those inclinations which may one day place him in an honourable 
station in the scale of society. ,m-n ^ n • ^ 

The principal poem in this little collection (Clifton Grove) is, he 
fears deficient in numbers, and harmonious coherency of parts. It is, 
ho'wever, merely to be regarded as a description of a nocturnal ramble 
in that charming retreat, accompanied with such reflections as the 
scene naturally suggested. It was written twelve months ago, when 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 



isting Reviews, and accompanied it with a letter, wherein 
he stated what his advantages had been, and what were 
the hopes which he proposed to himself from the publi- 
cation : requesting from them that indulgence of which 
his productions did not stand in need, and which it might 
have been thought, under such circumstances, would not 
have been withheld from works of less promise. It may 
be well conceived with what anxiety he looked for their 
opinions, and with what feelings he read the following 
article in the Monthly Review for February, 1804 : — 

e< The circumstances under w T hich this little volume is 
offered to the public, must in some measure disarm criti- 
cism. We have been informed that Mr White has scarcely 
attained his eighteenth year, has hitherto exerted himself 
in the pursuit of knowledge under the discouragements of 
penury and misfortune, and now hopes, by this early 
authorship, to obtain some assistance in the prosecution 
of his studies at Cambridge. He appears, indeed, to be 
one of those young men of talents and application who 
merit encouragement ; and it would be gratifying to us, 
to hear that this publication had obtained for him a re- 
spectable patron, for we fear that the mere profit arising 
from the sale cannot be, in any measure, adequate to his 
exigencies as a student at the university. A subscrip- 
tion, with a statement of the particulars of the Author's 
case, might have been calculated to have answered his 
purpose ; but, as a book which is to ' win its way' on the 
sole ground of its own merit, this poem cannot be con- 
templated with any sanguine expectation. The author is 
very anxious, however, that critics should find in itsome- 

the Author was in his sixteenth year. The Miscellanies are some of 
them the productions of a very early age. Of the Odes, that" To an 
early Primrose," was written at thirteen — the others are of a later 
date. — The sonnets are chiefly irregular ; they have, perhaps, no other 
claim to that speci/icdenominationVthan that they consist only of four- 
teen lines. 

Such are the poems, towards which I entreat the lenity of the pub- 
lic. The critic will doubtless find in them much to condemn, he may 
likewise, possibly, discover something to commend. Let him scan my 
faults with an indulgent eye, and in the work of that correction which 
I invite, let him remember he is holding the iron Mace of Criticism 
over the flimsy superstructure of a youth of seventeen, and remember- 
ing that, may he forbear from crushing by too much rigour the painted 
butterfly, whose transient colours may otherwise be capable of afford- 
ing a moment's innocent amusement/ H. K. White. 

Nottingham. 



XV111 LIFE OF 

thing to commend, and he shall not be disappointed : we 
commend his exertions, and his laudable endeavours to 
excel ; but we cannot compliment him with having learned 
the difficult art of writing good poetry. 

" Such lines as these will sufficiently prove our asser- 
tion : — 

" ' Here would I run, a visionary Boy, 

When the hoarse thunder shook the vaulted Sky, 
And, fancy led, beheld the Almighty's form 
Sternly careering in the eddying storm.' 

" If Mr White should be instructed by Alma-mater, 
he will, doubtless, produce better sense and better rhymes." 

I know not who was the writer of this precious article. 
It is certain that Henry could have no personal enemy ; 
his volume fell into the hands of some dull man, who 
took it up in an hour of ill-humour, turned over the 
leaves to look for faults, and finding that Boy and Shy 
were not orthodox rhymes, according to his wise creed 
of criticism, sate down to blast the hopes of a boy, who 
had confessed to him all his hopes and all his difficulties, 
and thrown himself upon his mercy. With such a 
letter before him (by mere accident I saw that which 
had been sent to the Critical Review), even though the 
poems had been bad, a good man would not have said 
so ; he would have avoided censure, if he had found it 
impossible to bestow praise. But that the reader may 
perceive the wicked injustice, as well as the cruelty of 
this reviewal, he need only read " To the Herb Rose- 
mary," p. 95, " To the Morning," p. 96, as a few speci- 
mens of the volume, thus contemptuously condemned 
because Boy and Shy are used as rhymes in it. 

An author is proof against reviewing, when, like my- 
self, he has been reviewed above seventy times ; but the 
opinion of a reviewer upon his first publication has 
more effect, both upon his feelings and his success, than 
it ought to have, or w r ould have, if the mystery of the 
ungentle craft were more generally understood. Henry 
wrote to the editor to complain of the cruelty with which 



HENRY KIKKE WHITE. XIX 

he had been treated. This remonstrance produced the 
following answer the next month. 

Monthly Review, March 1804. 
ADDRESS TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

"In the course of our long critical labours we have 
necessarily been forced to encounter the resentment, or 
withstand the lamentations of many disappointed au- 
thors : but we have seldom, if ever, been more affected 
than by a letter from Mr White of Nottingham, com- 
plaining of the tendency of our strictures on his poem 
of Clifton Grove, in our last number. His expostula- 
tions are written with a warmth of feeling in which we 
truly sympathize, and which shall readily excuse, with 
us, some expressions of irritation : but Mr White must 
receive our most serious declaration that we did ' judge 
of the book by the book itself;' excepting only, that 
from his former letter, we were desirous of mitigating 
the pain of that decision which our public duty required 
us to pronounce. We spoke with the utmost sincerity, 
w T hen we stated our wishes for patronage to an unfriended 
man of talents, for talents Mr White certainly possesses, 
and we repeat those wishes with equal cordiality. Let 
him still trust that, like Mr Giffard (see preface to his 
translation of Juvenal), some Mr Cookesley may yet 
appear to foster a capacity which endeavours to escape 
from its present confined sphere of action ; and let the 
opulent inhabitants of Nottingham reflect that some 
portion of that wealth which they have worthily ac- 
quired by the habits of industry, wull be laudably applied 
in assisting the efforts of mind." 

Henry was not aware that reviewers are infallible. 
His letter seems to have been answered by a different 
writer ; the answer has none of the common-place and 
vulgar insolence of the criticism ; but to have made any 
concession would have been admitting that a review can 
do wrong, and thus violating the fundamental principle 
of its constitution. 

The poems which had been thus condemned, appeared 
to me to discover strong marks of genius. I had shown 

— I 



LIFE OF 



them to two of my friends, than whom no persons living 
better understand what poetry is, nor have given better 
proofs of it ; and their opinion coincided with my own. 
I was fully convinced of the injustice of this criticism, 
and having accidentally seen the letter which he had 
written to the reviewers, understood the whole cruelty 
of their injustice. In consequence of this I wrote to 
Henry to encourage him ; told him, that though I was 
well aware how imprudent it was in young poets to 
publish their productions, his circumstances seemed to 
render that expedient, from which it would otherwise 
be right to dissuade him ; advised him therefore, if he 
had no better prospects, to print a larger volume by 
subscription, and offered to do what little was in my 
power to serve him in the business. To this he replied 
in the following letter. 

# * # * 

" I dare not say all I feel respecting your opinion of 
my little volume. The extreme acrimony with which 
the Monthly Review (of all others the most important) 
treated me, threw me into a state of stupefaction ; I re- 
garded all that had passed as a dream, and I thought I 
had been deluding myself into an idea of possessing 
poetic genius, when in fact I had only the longing 
without the afflatus. I mustered resolution enough, 
however, to write spiritedly to them : their answer, in 
the ensuing number, was a tacit acknowledgment that 
they had been somewhat too unsparing in their correc- 
tion. It was a poor attempt to salve over a wound 
wantonly and most ungenerously inflicted. Still I was 
damped, because I knew the work was very respectable, 
and therefore could not, I concluded, give a criticism 
grossly deficient in equity — the more especially as I 
knew of no sort of inducement to extraordinary severity. 
Your letter, however, has revived me, and I do again 
venture to hope that I may still produce something 
which will survive me. 

" With regard to your advice and offers of assistance, 
I will not attempt, because I am unable, to thank you 
for them. To-morrow morning I depart for Cambridge, 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 



and I have considerable hopes that, as I do not enter 
into the University with any sinister or interested views, 
but sincerely desire to perform the duties of an affec- 
tionate and vigilant pastor, and become more useful to 
mankind, I therefore have hopes, I say, that I shall 
find means of support in the University. If I do 
not, I shall certainly act in pursuance of your recommen- 
dations, and shall, without hesitation, avail myself of 
your offers of service, and of your directions. 

"Ina short time this will be determined ; and when 
it is, I shall take the liberty of writing to you at Kes- 
wick, to make you acquainted with the result. 

" I have only one objection to publishing by subscrip- 
tion, and I confess it has weight with me ; — it is, that 
in this step I shall seem to be acting upon the advice so 
unfeelingly and contumeliously given by the Monthly 
Keviewers, who say what is equal to this — that had I 
gotten a subscription for my poems before their merit 
was known, I might have succeeded ; provided, it seems, 
I had made a particular statement of my case ; like a 
beggar who stands with his hat in one hand, and a full 
account of his cruel treatment on the coast of Barbary in 
the other, and so gives you his penny sheet for your 
sixpence, by way of half- purchase, half- charity. 

" I have materials for another volume, but they were 
written principally while Clifton Grove was inthe press, 
or soon after, and do not now at all satisfy me. Indeed, 
of late, I have been obliged to desist, almost entirely, 
from converse with the dames of Helicon. The drud- 
gery of an attorney's office, and the necessity of prepar- 
ing myself, in case I should succeed in getting to col- 
lege, in what little leisure I could boast, left no room for 
the flights of the imagination." 

In another letter he speaks, in still stronger terms, of 
what he had suffered from the unfeeling and iniquitous 
criticism. 

" The unfavourable review (in the Monthly) of my 
unhappy work has cut deeper than you could have 
thought ; not in a literary point of view, but as it affects 



LIFE OF 



my respectability. It represents me actually as a beggar, 
going about gathering money to put myself at college, 
when my book is worthless ; and this with every ap- 
pearance of candour. They have been sadly misin- 
formed respecting me : this review goes before me 
wherever I turn my steps ; it haunts me incessantly, 
and I am persuaded it is an instrument in the hands of 
Satan to drive me to distraction. I must leave Not- 
tingham." 

It is not unworthy of remark, that^this very reviewal, 
which was designed to crush the hopes of Henry, and 
suppress his struggling genius, has been, in its conse- 
quences, the main occasion of bringing his Remains to 
light, and obtaining for him that fame which assuredly 
will be his portion. Had it not been for the indigna- 
tion which I felt at perusing a criticism at once so cruel 
and so stupid, the little intercourse between Henry and 
myself would not have taken place ; his papers would 
probably have remained in oblivion, and his name, in a 
few years, have been forgotten, 

I have stated that his opinions were, at one time, in- 
clining towards deism : it needs not to be said on what 
slight grounds the opinions of a youth must needs be 
founded : while they are confined to matters of specula- 
tion, they indicate, whatever their eccentricities, only an 
active mind ; and it is only when a propensity is mani- 
fested to such principles as give a sanction to immorality, 
that they show something wrong at heart. One little 
poem of Henry's remains, " My Own Character," p. 62, 
which was written in this unsettled state of mind. It 
exhibits much of his character, and can excite no feelings 
towards him, but such as are favourable. 

About this time Mr Pigott. the curate of St Mary's, 
Nottingham, hearing what was the bent of his religious 
opinions, sent him, by a friend, Scott's 4 ' Force of Truth," 
and requested him to peruse it attentively, which he pro- 
mised to do. Having looked at the book, he told the 
person who brought it to him, that he could soon write 
an answer to it ; but about a fortnight afterwards, when 
this friend inquired how far he had proceeded in his 



HEKRY KIliKE WHITE. 



answer to Mr Scott, Henry's reply was in a very diffe- 
rent tone and temper. He said, that to answer that book 
was out of his power, and out of any man's, for it was 
founded upon eternal truth ; that it had convinced 
him of his error ; and that so thoroughly was he im- 
pressed with a sense of the importance of his Maker's 
favour, that he would willingly give up all acquisitions 
of knowledge, and all hopes of fame, and live in a wil- 
derness, unknown, till death, so he could insure an 
inheritance in heaven.* 

A new pursuit was thus opened to him, and he en- 
gaged in it with his wonted ardour. " It was a constant 
feature in his mind," says Mr Pigott, " to persevere in 
the pursuit of what he deemed noble and important. 
Religion, in which he now appeared to himself not yet to 
have taken a step, engaged all his anxiety, as of all con- 
cerns the most important. He could not rest satisfied till 
he had formed his principles upon the basis of Christianity, 
and till he had begun in earnest to think and act agreeably 
to its pure and h eavenly precepts. His mind loved to make 
distant excursions intotbefuture and remote consequences 
of things. He no longer limited his views to the narrow 
confines of earthly existence : he was not happy till he 
had learnt to rest and expatiate in a world to come. 
What he said to me when we became intimate is worthy 
of observation : that, he said, which first made him dis- 
satisfied with the creed he had adopted, and the stan- 
dard of practice which he had set up for himself, was the 
purity of mind which he perceived was everywhere in- 
culcated in the Holy Scriptures, and required of every 

* Mr Sontliey, in an edition published in 1822, gives an entirely dif- 
ferent account of the manner of Henry Kirke White's conversion, 
mentioning that he had been misled in giving the above account. 

He states the true circumstances as follows! — A fellow-student of 
Kirke NVhite (Rev. Mr Almond) having been brought under the power 
of religious truth, resolved to forsake such companions as might en- 
danger his stedfastness, and, among others, carefully avoided Kirke 
White, formerly one of his most intimate friends. 

White, surprised and grieved at the cnange, sought an explanation, 
and appeared much struck with his friend's statements. The student 
gave him u Scott's Force of Truth" to read, which, however, seemed to 
produce little impression, and was returned with disapprobation. 

Bat the arrow of conviction had entered his soul. He was unhappy 
without religion, and at last opened his whole heart to his friend, and 
with tears in his eyes asked him, What must I do ? 



LIFE OF 



one who would become a successful candidate for future 
blessedness. He had supposed that morality of conduct 
was all the purity required ; but when he observed that 
purity of the very thoughts and intentions of the soul 
also was requisite, he was convinced of his deficiencies, 
and could find no comfort to his penitence, but in the 
atonement made for human frailty by the Redeemer of 
mankind ; and no strength adequate to his weakness, 
and sufficient for resisting evil, but the aid of God's 
Spirit, promised to those who seek him from above in 
the sincerity of earnest prayer." 

From the moment when he had fully contracted these 
opinions, he was resolved upon devoting his life to the 
promulgation of them ; and therefore to leave the law, 
and, if possible, place himself at one of the Universities. 
Every argument was used by his friends to dissuade him 
from his purpose, but to no effect : his mind was unal- 
terably fixed ; and great and numerous as the obstacles 
were, he was determined to surmount them all. He had 
now served the better half of the term for which he was 
articled ; his entrance and continuance in the profession 
had been a great expense to his family ; and to give up 
this lucrative profession, in the study of which he had 
advanced so far, and situated as he was, for one wherein 
there was so little prospect of his obtaining even a decent 
competency, appeared to them the height of folly or of 
madness. This determination cost his poor mother many 
tears ; but determined he was, and that by the best and 
purest motives. Without ambition he could not have 
existed, but his ambition now was to be eminently use- 
ful in the ministry. 

It was Henry's fortune, through his short life, as he 
was worthy of the kindest treatment, always to find it. 
His employers, Mr Ooldham and Mr Enfield, listened 
with a friendly ear to his plans, and agreed to give up 
the remainder of his time, though it was now become 
very valuable to them, as soon as they should think his 
prospects of getting through the University were such 
as he might reasonably trust to ; but till then, they felt 
themselves bound, for his own sake, to detain him. Mr 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. XXV 

Pigott, and Mr Dashwood. another clergyman, who at that 
time resided in Nottingham, exerted themselves in his 
favour ; he had a friend at Queen's College, Cambridge, 
who mentioned him to one of the Fellows of St John's, 
and that gentleman, on the representations made to him 
of Henry's talents and piety, spared no effort to obtain 
for him an adequate support. 

As soon as these hopes were laid out to him. his em- 
ployers gave him a month's leave of absence, for the 
benefit of uninterrupted study, and of change of air, which 
his health now began to require. Instead of going to the 
sea- coast, as was expected, he chose for his retreat the 
village of Wilford, which is situated on the banks of the 
Trent, and at the foot of Clifton Woods. These woods 
had ever been his favourite place of resort, and were the 
subject of the longest poem in his little volume, from 
which, indeed, the volume was named. He delighted to 
point out to his more intimate friends the scenery of this 
poem ; the islet to which he had often forded when the 
river was not knee deep ; and the little hut wherein he 
had sate for hours, and sometimes all day long, reading 
or writing, or dreaming with his eyes open. He had 
sometimes wandered in these woods till night far ad- 
vanced, and used to speak with pleasure of having once 
been overtaken there by a thunder storm at midnight, 
and watching the lightning over the river and the vale 
towards the town. 

In this village his mother procured lodgings for him, 
and his place of retreat was kept secret, except from his 
nearest friends. Soon after the expiration of the month, 
intelligence arrived that the plans which had been formed 
in his behalf had entirely failed. He went immediately 
to his mother : fe ' All my hopes," said he. " of getting to 
the University are now blasted ; in preparing myself for 
it, I have lost time in my profession ; I have much ground 
to get up. and as I am determined not to be a mediocre 
attorney, I must endeavour to recover what I have lost." 
The consequence was, that he applied himself more 
severely than ever to his studies, He now allowed him- 
self no time for relaxation, little for his meals, and scarcely 



XXVI LIFE OF 

any for sleep. He would read till one, two, three o'clock 
in the morning ; then throw himself on the bed, and rise 
again to his work at five, at the call of a larum, which 
he had fixed to a Dutch clock in his chamber. Many 
nights he never laid down at all. It was in vain that 
his mother used every possible means to dissuade him 
from this destructive application. In this respect, and 
in this only one, was Henry undutiful, and neither com- 
mands, nor tears, nor entreaties, could check his despe- 
rate and deadly ardour. At one time she went every 
night into his room, to put out his candle : as soon as he 
heard her coming up stairs, he used to hide it in a cup- 
board, throw himself into bed, and affect sleep while she 
was in the room ; then, when all was quiet, rise again, 
and pursue his baneful studies. 

" The night," says Henry, in one of his letters, " has 
been everything to me ; and did the world know how I 
have been indebted to the hours of repose, they would 
not wonder that night images are, as they judge, so ridi- 
culously predominant in my verses." During some of 
these midnight hours he indulged himself in complaining, 
but in such complaints that it is to be wished more of 
them had been found among his papers. 



ODE ON DISAPPOINTMENT. 

i. 

Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Not in thy terrors clad : 
Come in thy meekest, saddest guise ; 
Thy chastening rod but terrifies 
The restless and the bad. 
But I recline 
Beneath thy shrine, 
And round my brow resign'd, thy peaceful cypress twine. 



Though Fancy flics away 

Before thy hollow tread, 
Yet meditation in her cell, 
Hears with faint eye, the ling 'ring knell, 

That tells her hopes are dead ; 



HENBY KIRKE WHITE. 



And though the tear 
By chance appear, 
Yet she can smile, and say, My all was not laid here. 



Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Though from Hope's summit hurl'd, 
Still, rigid Nurse, thou art forgiven, 
For thou severe wert sent from heaven 
To wean me from the world ; 
To turn my eye 
From vanity, 
And point to scenes of bliss that never, never die. 



"What is this passing scene ? 

A peevish April day ! 
A little sun — a little rain, 
And then night sweeps along the plain, 
And all things fade away. 
Man (soon discuss'd) 
Yields up his trust, 
And all his hopes and fears lie with him in the dust. 

v. 

Oh, what is beauty's power ? 

It nourishes and dies ; 
Will the cold earth its silence break, 
To tell how soft, how smooth a cheek 
Beneath its surface lies ? 
Mute, mute is all 
O'er beauty's fall ; 
Her praise resounds no more when mantled in her pall. 

VI. 

The most belov'd on earth 

Not long survives to-day ; 
So music past is obsolete, 
And yet 'twas sweet, 'twas passing sweet, 
But now 'tis gone away. 
Thus does the shade 
In memory fade, 
When in forsaken tomb the form belov'd is laid. 



XXV111 LIFE OF 

VII. 

Then since this world is vain, 

And volatile and fleet, 
"Why should I lay up earthly joys, 
Where rust corrupts, and moths destroys, 
And cares and sorrows eat ? 
Why fly from ill 
With anxious skill, 
When soon this hand will freeze, this throbbing heart be still ? 

VIII. 

Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Thou art not stern to me ; 
Sad Monitress ; I own thy sway, 
A votary sad in early day, 
I bend my knee to thee. 
From sun to sun 
My race will run, 
I only bow, and say, My God, thy will be done. 

On another paper are a few lines, written probably in 
the freshness of his disappointment. 

I dream no more — the vision flies away, 
And Disappointment # # # 
There fell my hopes — I lost my all in this, 
My cherish 'd all of visionary bliss. 
Now hope farewell, farewell all joys below ; 
Now welcome sorrow, and now welcome woe. 
Plunge me in glooms * * * 

His health soon sunk under these habits ; he became 
pale and thin, and at length had a sharp fit of sickness. 
On his recovery he wrote the following lines in the church- 
yard of his favourite vi laeg. 

LINES ON RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS. 

WRITTEN IN W r ILFORD CHURCH-YARD. 

Here would I wish to sleep. — This is the spot 
Which I have long mark'd out to lay my bones in ; 
Tired out and wearied with the riotous world, 
Beneath this yew I would be sepulchred. 
It is a lovely spot ! the sultry sun, 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. X: 

From his meridian height, endeavours vainly 
To pierce the shadowy foliage, while the zephyr 
Comes wafting gently o'er the rippling Trent, 
And plays about my wan cheek. 5 Tis a nook 
Most pleasant. — Such a one perchance did Gray 
Frequent, as with the vagrant muse he wanton"d, 
Come, I will set me down and meditate, 
For I am wearied with my summer's walk ; 
And here I may repose in silent ease ; 
And thus, perchance, when life's sad journey's o'er, 
My harass'd soul, in this same spot, may find 
The haven of its rest — beneath this sod 
Perchance may sleep it sweetly, sound as death. 

I would not have my corpse cemented down 

With brick and stone, defrauding the poor earthworm 

Of its predestined dues ; no, I would lie 

Beneath a little hillock, grass o'ergrown, 

Swath 'd down with oziers, just as sleep the cotters. 

Yet may not undistinguished be my grave ; 

But there at eve may some congenial soul 

Duly resort, and shed a pious tear, 

The good man's benison — no more I ask. 

And oh ! (if heavenly beings may look down 

From where, with cherubim inspired, they sit, 

Upon this little dim-discover'd spot, 

The earth,) then will I cast a glance below 

On him who thus my ashes shall embalm ; 

And I will weep too, and will bless the wanderer, 

Wishing he may not long be doomed to pine 

In this low-thoughted world of darkling woe, 

But that, ere long, he reach his kindred skies. 

Yet 'twas a silly thought — as if the body, 
Mouldering beneath the surface of the earth, 
Could taste the sweets of summer scenery, 
And feel the freshness of the balmy breeze ! 
Yet nature speaks within the human bosom, 
And, spite of reason, bids it look beyond 
His narrow verge of being, and provide 
A decent residence for its clayey shell, 
Endear'd to it by time. And who would lay 
His body in the city burial-place, 
To be thrown up again by some rude sexton, 



LIFE OF 



And yield its narrow house another tenant, 

Ere the moist flesh had mingled with the dust, 

Ere the tenacious hair had left the scalp, 

Exposed to insult, lewd, and wantonness ? 

No, I will lay me in the village ground ; 

There are the dead respected. The poor hind, 

Unlettered as he is, would scorn to invade 

The silent resting-place of death. I've seen 

The labourer returning from his toil, 

Here stay his steps and call his children round, 

And slowly spell the rudely sculptured rhymes, 

And, in his rustic manner, moralize. 

I've mark'd wUh what a silent awe he'd spoken, 

With head uncover'd, his respectful manner, 

And all the honours which he paid the grave, 

And thought on cities, where even cemeteries, 

Bestrew'd with all the emblems of mortality, 

Are not protected from the drunken insolence 

Of wassailers profane, and wanton havoc. 

Grant, Heaven, that here my pilgrimage may close ! 

Yet, if this be denied, where'er my bones 

May lie — or in the city's crowded bounds, 

Or scatter'd wide o'er the huge sweep of waters, 

Or left a prey on some deserted shore 

To the rapacious cormorant, — yet still, 

(For why should sober reason cast away 

A thought which soothes the soul ?)— yet still my spirit 

Shall wing its way to these my native regions, 

And hover o'er this spot. Oh, then I'll think 

Of times when I was seated 'neath this yew 

In solemn rumination ; and will smile 

With joy that I have got my long'd release. 

Kis friends are of opinion that he never thoroughly 
recovered from the shock which his constitution had sus- 
tained. Many of his poems indicate that he thought 
himself in danger of consumption ; he was not aware 
that he was generating or fostering in himself another 
disease, little less dreadful, and which threatens intellect 
as well as life. At this time youth was in his favour, 
and his hopes, which were now again renewed, produced 
perhaps a better effect than medicine. Mr Dashwood ob- 
tained for him an introduction to Mr Simeon, of King's 



HENRY KIEKE WHITE. 



College, and with this he was induced to go to Cambridge. 
Mr Simeon, from the recommendation which he received, 
and from the conversation he had with him, promised to 
procure for him a Sizarship at St John's, and, with the 
additional aid of a friend, to supply him with £30 an- 
nually. His brother Neville promised twenty ; and his 
mother, it was hoped, would be able to allow fifteen or 
twenty more. With this, it was thought, he could go 
through college. If this prospect had not been opened 
to him, he would probably have turned his thoughts to- 
wards the orthodox dissenters. 

On his return to Nottingham, the Rev. Robin- 
son, of Leicester, and some other friends, advised him to 
apply to the Elland Society for assistance,* conceiving 
that it would be less oppressive to his feelings to be de- 
pendent on a Society instituted for the express purpose 
of training up such young men as himself (that is, such 
in circumstances and opinions) for the ministry, than on 
the bounty of an individual. In consequence of this ad- 
vice he went to Elland at the next meeting of the so- 
ciety, a stranger there, and without one friend among 
the members. He w r as examined, for several hours, by 
about five-and-twenty clergymen, as to his religious views 
and sentiments, his theological knowledge, and his classi- 
cal attainments. In the course of the inquiry, it appeared 
that he had published a volume of poems : their ques- 
tions now began to be very unpleasantly inquisitive con- 
cerning the nature of these poems, and he was assailed 
by queries from all quarters. It was well for Henry that 
they did not think of referring to the Monthly Review 
for authority. My letter to him happened to be in his 
pocket ; he luckily recollected this, and produced it as a 
testimony in his favour. They did me the honour to say 
that it was quite sufficient, and pursued this part of their 
inquiry no farther. Before he left Elland, he was given 
to understand that they were well satisfied with his theo- 
logical knowledge ; that they thought his classical profi- 
ciency prodigious for his age, and that they had placed him 

* MrSouthey,in a note, remarks, that lie had not seen the letter, 
page 210, when 'he wrote this memoir. 



XXX11 LIFE OF 

on their books. He returned little pleased with his jour- 
ney. His friends had been mistaken ; the bounty of an 
individual calls forth a sense of kindness, as well as of 
dependence : that of a society has the virtue of charity 
perhaps, but it wants the grace. He now wrote to Mr 
Simeon, stating what he had done, and that the benefi- 
cence of his unknown friends was no longer necessary : 
but that gentleman obliged him to decline the assistance 
of the society, which he very willingly did. 

This being finally arranged, he quitted his employers 
in October, 1804. How much he had conducted himself 
to their satisfaction, will appear by this testimony of Mr 
Enfield, to his diligence and uniform worth. " I have 
great pleasure," says this gentleman, " in paying the 
tribute to his memory, of expressing the knowledge which 
was afforded me, during the period of his connection with 
Mr Coldham and myself, of his diligent application, his 
ardour for study, and his virtuous and amiable disposi- 
tion. He very soon discovered an unusual aptness in 
comprehending the routine of business, and great ability 
and rapidity in the execution of everything which was 
entrusted to him. His diligence and punctual attention 
were unremitted, and his services became extremely valu- 
able a considerable time before he left us. He seemed 
to me to have no relish for the ordinary pleasures and dis- 
sipations of young men ; his mind was perpetually em- 
ployed, either in the business of his profession or in pri- 
vate study. With his fondness for literature we were 
well acquainted, but had no reason to offer any check to 
it, for he never permitted the indulgence of his literary 
pursuits to interfere with the engagements of business. 
The difficulty of hearing, under which he laboured, was 
distressing to him in the practice of his profession, and 
was, I think, an inducement, in co-operation with his 
other inclinations, for his resolving to relinquish the law. 
lean, with truth, assert, that his determination was mat- 
ter of serious regret to my partner and myself." 

Mr Simeon had advised him to degrade for a year, and 
place himself, during that time, under some scholar. He 
went accordingly to the Rev. Grainger, of Winter- 



HENKY KLRKE WHITE, 



ingham, in Lincolnshire, and there, notwithstanding all 
the entreaties of his friends, pursuing the same unrelent- 
ing course of study, a second illness was the consequence. 
When he was recovering, he was prevailed upon to relax, 
to ride on horseback, and to drink wine ; these latter 
remedies he could not long afford, and he would not allow 
himself time for relaxation w T hen he did not feel its im- 
mediate necessity. He frequently, at this time, studied 
fourteen hours a day : the progress w T hich he made in 
twelve months was indeed astonishing : when he w T ent to 
Cambridge he was immediately as much distinguished for 
his classical knowledge as his genius : but the seeds of 
death were in him, and the place to which he had so long 
looked on with hope, served unhappily as a hot-house to 
ripen them.* 

During his first term, one of the University Scholar- 
ships became vacant, and Henry, young as he was in 
college, and almost self-taught, w T as advised by those who 
were best able to estimate his chance of success, to oifer 
himself as a competitor for it. He passed the whole term 
in preparing himself for this, reading for college subjects 
in bed, in his walks, or, as he says, where, when, and how 
he could, never having a moment to spare, and often 
going to his tutor without having read at all. His 
strength sunk under this, and though he had declared 
himself a candidate, he was compelled to decline ; but 
this was not the only misfortune. The general college 
examination came on ; he was utterly unprepared to meet 
it, and believed that a failure here would have ruined his 
prospects for ever. He had only about a fortnight to 
read what other men had been the whole term reading. 
Once more he exerted himself beyond what his shattered 
health could bear ; the disorder returned, and he went 

* During his residence in my family, says Mr Grainger, his conduct 
was highly becoming, and suitable to a Christian profession. He was 
mild and inoffensive, modest, unassuming, and affectionate. He attend- 
ed, with great cheerfulness, a Sunday-school which I was endeavouring 
to establish in the village, and was at considerable pains in the instruc- 
tion of the children ; and I have repeatedly observed that he was most 
pleased and most edified with such of my sermons and addresses to my 
people, as were most close, plain, and familiar. When we parted, wo 
parted with mutual regret ; and by us his name will long be remem- 
bered with affection and delight. 



XXXIV LIFE OF 

to his tutor, Mr Catton, with tears in his eyes, and told him 
that he could not go into the Hall to be examined. Mr 
Catton, however, thought his success here of so much im- 
portance, that he exhorted him, with all possible earnest- 
ness, to hold out the six days of the examination. Strong 
medicines were given him to enable him to support it, and 
he was pronounced the first man of his year. But life 
was the price which he was to pay for such honours as this, 
and Henry is not the first young man to whom such 
honours have proved fatal. He said to his most inti- 
mate friend, almost the last time he saw him, that were 
he to paint a picture of Fame, crowning a distinguished 
under-graduate, after the Senate- house examination, he 
would represent her as concealing a Death's head under 
a mask of beauty. 

When this was over he went to London. London 
was a new scene of excitement, and what his mind re- 
quired was tranquillity and rest. Before he left College, 
he had become anxious concerning his expenses, fearing 
that they exceeded his means. Mr Catton perceived 
this, and twice called him to his rooms, to assure him of 
every necessary support, and every encouragement, and 
to give him every hope. This kindness relieved his 
spirits of a heavy weight, and on his return he relaxed a 
little from his studies, but it was only a little. I found 
among his papers the day thus planned out : — " Rise at 
half- past five. Devotions and walk till seven. Chapel 
and breakfast till eight. Study and lectures till one. 
Four and a half clear reading. Walk, &c. and dinner, 
and Woollaston, and chapel to six. Six to nine, read- 
ing — three hours. Nine to ten, devotions Bed at 
ten." 

Among his latest writings are these resolutions : — 

" I will never be in bed after six. 

I will not drink tea out above once a week, excepting on 

Sundays, unless there appear some good reason for so 

doing. 
I will never pass a day without reading some portion of 

the Scriptures. 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 



I will labour diligently in my mathematical studies, be- 
cause I half suspect myself of a dislike to them. 

I will walk two hours a day, upon the average of every 
week. 

Sit mihi gratia addita ad hcec facienda." 



About this time, judging by the handwriting, he wrote 
down the following admonitory sentences, which, as the 
paper on which they are written is folded into the shape 
of a very small book, it is probable be carried about with 
him as a manual. 

" 1. Death and judgment are near at hand. 

2. Though thy bodily part be now in health and 
ease, the dews of death will soon sit upon thy forehead. 

3. That which seems so sweet and desirable to thee 
now, will, if yielded to. become bitterness of soul to thee 
all thy life after. 

4. When the waters are come over thy soul, and 
when, in the midst of much bodily anguish, thou dis- 
tinguishest the dim shores of eternity before thee, what 
wouldest thou not give to be lighter by this one sin ? 

5. God has long withheld his arm ; what if his for- 
bearance be now at an end? Canst thou not contem- 
plate these things with the eyes of death ? Art thou not 
a dying man, dying every day, every hour ? 

6. Is it not a fearful thing to shrink from the sum- 
mons when it comes ? — to turn with horror and despair 
from the future being? Think what strains of joy and 
tranquillity fall on the ear of the saint who is just swoon- 
ing into the arms of his Redeemer ; what fearful shapes, 
and dreadful images of a disturbed conscience, surround 
the sinner's bed, when the last twig which he grasped 
fails him, and the gulf yawns to receive him. 

7. Oh, my soul, if thou art yet ignorant of the enor- 
mity of sin, turn thine eyes to the man who is bleeding 
to death on the cross ! See how the blood from his 
pierced hands trickles down his arms, and the more 



LIFE OF 



copious streams from his feet run on the accursed tree, 
and stain the grass with purple ! Behold his features, 
though scarcely animated with a few remaining sparks 
of life, yet how full of love, pity, and tranquillity ! A 
tear is trickling down his cheek, and his lip quivers. 
He is praying for his murderers ! O my soul ! it is thy 
Redeemer — it is thy God ! And this too for Sin — for 
Sin ! and wilt thou ever again submit to its yoke ? 

8. Remember that the grace of the Holy Spirit of 
God is ready to save thee from transgression. It is 
always at hand : thou canst not sin without wilfully re- 
jecting its aid. 

9. And is there real pleasure in sin? Thou knowest 
there is not. But there is pleasure, pure and exquisite 
pleasure, in holiness. The Holy Ghost can make the 
paths of religion and virtue, hard as they seem, and 
thorny, ways of pleasantness and peace, where, though 
there be thorns, yet are there also roses ; and where 
all the wounds which we suffer in the flesh, from the 
hardness of the journey, are so healed by the balm of 
the spirit, that they rather give joy than pain." 



The exercise which Henry took was no relaxation; 
he still continued the habit of studying while he walked ; 
and in this manner, while he was at Cambridge, com- 
mitted to memory a whole tragedy of Euripides. Twice 
he distinguished himself in the following year, being 
again pronounced first at the great College examination, 
and also one of the three best theme writers, between 
whom the examiners could not decide. The College 
offered him, at their expense, a private tutor in mathe- 
matics, during the long vacation ; and Mr Catton, by 
procuring for him exhibitions to the amount of £66 per 
annum, enabled him to give up the pecuniary assistance 
which he had received from Mr Simeon and other friends. 
This intention he had expressed in a letter, written twelve 
months before his death. " With regard to my college 
expenses, (he says,) I have the pleasure to inform you, 
that I shall be obliged, in strict rectitude, to waive the 



HENRY KIKKE WHITE. 



offers of many of my friends. I shall not even need the 
sum Mr Simeon mentioned, after the first year ; and it 
is not impossible that I may be able to live without any 
assistance at all. I confess I feel pleasure at the thought 
of this, not through any vain pride of independence, but 
because I shall then give a more unbiassed testimony to 
the truth, than if I were supposed to be bound to it by 
any ties of obligation or gratitude. I shall always feel 
as much indebted for intended as for actually afforded 
assistance ; and though I should never think a sense of 
thankfulness an oppressive burthen, yet I shall be happy 
to evince it, when in the eyes of the world the obligation 
to it has been discharged." Never, perhaps, had any 
young man, in so short a time, excited such expectations ; 
every University honour was thought to be within his 
reach ; he was set down as a medallist, and expected to 
take a senior wrangler's degree ; but these expectations 
were poison to him ; they goaded him to fresh exertions 
when his strength was spent. His situation became truly 
miserable : to his brother, and to his mother, he wrote 
always that he had relaxed in his studies, and that he 
was better ; always holding out to them his hopes, and 
his good fortune : but to the most intimate of his friends, 
(Mr Maddock), his letters told a different tale: to him 
he complained of dreadful palpitations — of nights of 
sleeplessness and horror, and of spirits depressed to the 
very depth of wretchedness, so that he went from one 
acquaintance to another, imploring society, even as a 
starving beggar intreats for food. During the course of 
this summer, it was expected that the Mastership of the 
Free- School at Nottingham would shortly become vacant. 
A relation of his family was at that time mayor of the 
town ; he suggested to them what an advantageous situa- 
tion it would be for Henry, and offered to secure for him 
the necessary interest. But though the salary and emolu- 
ments are estimated at from £400 to £600 per annum, 
Henry declined the offer ; because, had he accepted it, 
it would have frustrated his intentions with respect to 
the ministry. This was certainly no common act of 
forbearance in one so situated as to fortune, especially as 



LIFE OF 



the hope which he had most at heart, was that of being 
enabled to assist his family, and in some degree requite 
the care and anxiety of his father and mother, by making 
them comfortable in their declining years. 

The indulgence shown him by his college, in provid- 
ing him a tutor during the long vacation, was peculiarly 
unfortunate. His only chance of life was from relaxa- 
tion, and home was the only place where he would have 
relaxed to any purpose. Before this time he had seemed 
to be gaining strength ; it failed as the year advanced ; 
he w T ent once more to London, to recruit himself, — the 
worst place to which he could have gone ; the variety of 
stimulating objects there hurried and agitated him, and 
when he returned to college, he was so completely ill, 
that no power of medicine could save him. His mind 
was worn out, and it was the opinion of his medical at- 
tendants, that if he had recovered, his intellect would 
have been affected. His brother Neville was just at 
this time to have visited him. On his first seizure, 
Henry found himself too ill to receive him, and wrote to 
say so ; he added, with that anxious tenderness towards 
the feelings of a most affectionate family which always 
appeared in his letters, that he thought himself recover- 
ing ; but his disorder increased so rapidly, that this let- 
ter was never sent ; it was found in his pocket after his 
decease. One of his friends wrote to acquaint Neville 
with his danger : he hastened down ; but Henry was 
delirious when he arrived. He knew him only for a few 
moments ; the next day sunk into a state of stupor ; and 
on Sunday, October 19th, 1806, it pleased God to re- 
move him to a better world, and a higher state of ex- 
istence.* 

# * # * #■ * 

The will which I had manifested to serve Henry, he 
had accepted as the deed, and had expressed himself upon 
the subject in terms which it would have humbled me to 
read, at any other time than when I was performing the 



* A tablet to Henry Kirke White's memory, has been erected over 
his grave in All Saints Church, Cambridge, at the expense of Mr Fran- 
cis Boot of Boston, United States. 



HENEY KIRKE WHITE. 



last service to his memory, On his decease, Mr B. Mad- 
dock addressed a letter to me, informing me of the event, 
as one who had professed an interest in his friend's for- 
tunes. I inquired, in my reply, if there was any inten- 
tion of publishing what he might have left, and if I 
could be of any assistance in the publication ; this led to 
a correspondence with his excellent brother, and the 
whole of his papers were consigned into my hands, with 
as many of his letters as could be collected. 

These papers (exclusive of the correspondence) filled 
a box of considerable size. Mr Coleridge was present 
when I opened them, and was, as well as myself, equally 
affected and astonished at the proofs of industry which 
they displayed. Some of them had been written before 
his hand was formed, probably before he was thirteen. 
There were papers upon law, upon electricity, upon che- 
mistry, upon the Latin and Greek languages, from their 
rudiments to the higher branches of critical study, upon 
history, chronology, divinity, the fathers, &c. Nothing 
seemed to have escaped him. His poems were nume- 
rous ; among the earliest, was a sonnet addressed to 
myself, long before the little intercourse which had sub- 
sisted between us had taken place. Little did he think, 
when it was written, on what occasion it would fall into 
my hands. He had begun three tragedies w r hen very 
young : one was upon Boadicea, another upon Inez de 
Castro : the third was a fictitious subject. He had 
planned also a history of Nottingham. There was a let- 
ter upon the famous Nottingham election, which seemed 
to have been intended either tor the newspapers, or for 
a separate pamphlet. It was written to confute the ab- 
surd stories of the Tree of Liberty, and the Goddess of 
B.eason ; with the most minute knowledge of the circum- 
stances, and a not improper feeling of indignation against 
so infamous a calumny ; and this came with more weight 
from him, as his party inclinations seemed to have leaned 
towards the side which he was opposing. This was his 
only finished composition in prose. Much of his time, 
latterly, had been devoted to the study of Greek pro- 
sody : he had begun several poems in Greek, and a trans- 



xl 



LIFE OF 



lation of the Samson Agonistes. I have inspected all 
the existing manuscripts of Chatterton, and they excited 
less wonder than these. 

Had my knowledge of Henry terminated here, I 
should have hardly believed that my admiration and re- 
gret for him could have been increased ; but I had yet 
to learn that his moral qualities, his good sense, and his 
whole feelings, were as admirable as his industry and 
genius. All his letters to his family have been commu- 
nicated to me without reserve, and most of those to his 
friends. A selection from these are arranged in this 
volume in chronological order, which will make him his 
own biographer, and lay open to the world as pure, and 
as excellent, a heart, as it ever pleased the Almighty to 
w T arm with life. Much has been suppressed, which, if 
Henry had been, like Chatterton, of another generation, 
I should willingly have published, and the world would 
willingly have received; but in doing honour to the dead, 
I have been scrupulously careful never to forget the 
living. 

It is not possible to conceive a human being more 
amiable in all the relations of life. He was the confi- 
dential friend and adviser of every member of his family ; 
this he instinctively became ; and the thorough good sense 
of his advice is not less remarkable than the affection 
with which it is always communicated. To his mother, 
he is as earnest in beseeching her to be careful of her 
health, as he is in labouring to convince her that his own 
complaints were abating ; his letters to her are always 
of hopes, of consolation, and of love. To Neville he 
writes with the most brotherly intimacy, still, however, 
in that occasional tone of advice which it was his nature 
to assume, not from any arrogance of superiority, but 
from earnestness of pure affection. To his younger bro- 
ther he addresses himself like the tenderest and wisest 
parent ; and to two sisters, then too young for any other 
communication, he writes to direct their studies, to in- 
quire into their progress, to encourage, and to improve 
them. Such letters as these are not for the public ; but 
they to whom they are addressed will lay them to their 



HENEY KIRKE WHITE. xli 

hearts like relics, and will find in them a saving virtue 
more than ever relics possessed. 

With regard to his poems, the criterion for selection 
was not so plain ; undoubtedly many have been chosen 
which he himself would not have published, and some 
few which, had he lived to have taken that rank among 
English poets which would assuredly have been within 
his reach, I also should then have rejected among his 
posthumous papers. I have, however, to the best of my 
judgment, selected none which does not either mark the 
state of his mind, or its progress, or discover evident 
proofs of what he would have been, if it had not been 
the will of Heaven to remove him so soon. The reader 
who feels any admiration for Henry, will take some in- 
terest in all these remains, because they are his ; he who 
shall feel none must have a blind heart, and, therefore, 
a blind understanding. Such poems are to be considered 
as making up his history. But the greater number are 
of such beauty, that Chatterton is the only youthful poet 
whom he does not leave far behind him. 

While he was under Mr Grainger he wrote very little ; 
and when he w r ent to Cambridge he was advised to stifle 
his poetical fire for severer and more important studies ; 
to lay a billet on the embers until he had taken his de- 
gree, and then he might fan it into a flame again. This 
advice he followed so scrupulously that a few fragments, 
written chiefly upon the back of his mathematical papers, 
are all which he produced at the University. The greater 
part, therefore, of these poems, indeed nearly the whole 
of them, were written before he was nineteen. Wise as 
the advice may have been which had been given him, it 
is now to be regretted that he adhered to it, his latter 
fragments bearing all those marks of improvement which 
were to be expected from a mind so rapidly and contin- 
ually progressive. Frequently he expresses a fear that 
early death would rob him of his fame ; yet, short as his 
life was, it has been long enough for him to leave works 
worthy of remembrance. The very circumstance of his 
early death gives a new interest to his memory, and there » 
by new force to his example. Just at that age when the 



xlii LIFE OF 

painter would have wished to fix his likeness, and the 
lover of poetry would delight to contemplate him, in the 
fair morning of his virtues, the full spring blossom of his 
hopes, — just at that age hath death set the seal of eter- 
nity upon him, and the beautiful hath been made per- 
manent. To the young poets who come after him, Henry 
will be what Chatterton was to him ; and they will find 
in him an example of hopes, with regard to worldly for- 
tune, as humble, and as exalted in all better things as 
are enjoined equally by wisdom and religion, by the ex- 
perience of man, and the word of God. And this ex- 
ample will be as encouraging as it is excellent. It has 
been too much the custom to complain that genius is ne- 
glected, and to blame the public when the public is not 
in fault. They who are thus lamented as the victims of 
genius, have been, in almost every instance, the victims 
of their own vices ; while genius has been made, like 
charity, to cover a multitude of sins, and to excuse that 
which in reality it aggravates. In this age, and in this 
country, whoever deserves encouragement is, sooner or 
later, sure to receive it. Of this Henry's history is an 
honourable proof. The particular patronage which he 
accepted was given as much to his piety and religious 
opinions as to his genius ; but assistance was oiFered him 
from other quarters. Mr P. Thomson (of Boston, Lin- 
colnshire), merely upon perusing his little volume, wrote 
to know how he could serve him ; and there were many 
friends of literature who were ready to have afforded him 
any support which he needed, if he had not been thus 
provided. In the university he received every encour- 
agement Which he merited, and from Mr Simeon, and 
his tutor, Mr Catton, tho most fatherly kindness. 

" I can venture," says a lady of Cambridge, in a letter 
to his brother, " I can ventnre to say, with certainty, there 
was no member of the University, however high his rank 
or talents, who would not have been happy to have availed 
themselves of the opportunity of being acquainted with 
Mr Henry Kirke White. I mention this to introduce a 
wish, which has been expressed to me so often by the 
senior members of the University, that I dare not decline 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. xliii 

the task they have imposed upon me ; it is their hope 
that Mr Southey will do as much justice to Mr White's 
limited wishes^ to his unassuming pretensions, and to his 
rational and fervent piety, as to his various acquirements, 
his polished taste, his poetical fancy, his undeviating prin- 
ciples, and the excellence of his moral character ; and that 
he will suffer it to be understood that these inestimable 
qualities had not been unobserved, nor would they have 
remained unacknowledged. It was the general observa- 
tion that he possessed genius without its eccentricities. v 

Of his fervent piety, his letters, his prayers, and his 
hymns, will afford ample and interesting proofs. I must 
be permitted to say, that my own views of the religion 
of Jesus Christ differ essentially from the system of be- 
lief which he had adopted ; but, having said this, it is, 
indeed, my anxious wish to do full justice to piety so fer- 
vent. It was in him a living and quickening principle 
of goodness, which sanctified all his hopes and all his 
affections ; which made him keep watch over his own 
heart, and enabled him to correct the few symptoms which 
it ever displayed of human imperfection. 

His temper had been irritable in his younger days, but 
this he had long since effectually overcome : the marks 
of youthful confidence which appear in his earliest letters, 
had also disappeared ; and it was impossible for man to 
be more tenderly patient of the faults of others, more uni- 
formly meek, or more unaffectedly humble. He seldom 
discovered any sportiveness of imagination, though he 
would very ably and pleasantly rally any one of his friends 
for any little peculiarity ; his conversation was always 
sober, and to the purpose. That which is most remark- 
able in him, is his uniform good sense, a faculty perhaps 
less common than genius. There never existed a more 
dutiful son, a more affectionate brother, a warmer friend, 
nor a devouter Christian. Of his powers of mind it is 
superfluous to speak ; they were acknowledged wherever 
they were known. It would be idle, too, to say what 
hopes were entertained of him, and what he might have 
accomplished in literature. These volumes contain what 
he has left, — immature buds, and blossoms shaken from 



Xliv LIFE OF HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 

the tree, and green fruit ; yet will they evince what the 
harvest would have been, and secure for him that remem- 
brance upon earth for which he toiled. 

* Thou soul of God's best earthly mould, 
Thou happy soul ! and can it be 
That these * * * 
Are all that must remain of thee ! " 

Wordsworth. 



CONTENTS. 




PAGE 


Childhood, ...... 


3 


Clifton Grove, ...... 


15 


Time, ....... 


29 


The Christiad, ...... 


46 


Miscellaneous : — 




On being Confined to School one Morning, . 


58 


Address to Contemplation, .... 


59 


Music — " All powerful on the Human Mind," 


61 


My Own Character, ..... 


62 


Elegy occasioned by the Death of Mr Gill, . 


64 


Commencement of a Poem on Despair, 


65 


Thanatos, . . . 


67 


Athanatos, ...... 


68 


My Study, 


69 


Inscription for a Monument to the Memory of Cowper, 


72 


Description of a Summer's Eve, 


72 


Christmas Day 1804, .... 


74 


Nelsoni Mors, ..... 


76 


" I'm pleased, and yet I'm sad," 


77 


Solitude — " It is not that my lot is low," 


78 


" If far from me the Fates Remove," 


79 


" Fanny upon thy Breast," . 


80 


Epigram on Robert Bloomfield, 


80 


The Prostitute, ..... 


81 


The Eve of Death, . . . 


82 


Written in the prospect of Death, 


83 


Lines on Reading the Poemi of Warton, 


84 


on Recovery from Sickness, 


86 


written on a Survey of the Heavens, . 


88 


supposed to be spoken by a Lover at the Grave of 




his Mistress, ..... 


90 



xlvi CONTENTS. 



Miscellaneous : — 

Lines, " Yes, my Stray Steps," ... 91 

written Impromptu, " Go to the raging Sea," 93 

To the Herb Rosemary, .... 95 

Morning, . ... 93 

To a Friend, " I've read, my friend, of Dioclesian," 98 

Friend in Distress, .... 99 

Verses composed extempore, " Thou Base Refiner," 100 

" When Pride and Envy," . . .102 

Ballads : — 

Gondoline, ...... 103 

" Be hushed, be hushed, ye bitter winds," . . 112 

Songs : — 

" Softly, softly, blow," .... 114 
The Wandering Boy, . . . .115 

Pastoral Song — " Come, Anna !" . . . 116 
By Waller — " Go, Lovely Rose," and K.White's addition, 117 

The Wonderful Juggler, .... 118 

The Shipwrecked Solitary's Song, . . . 119 
The Savoyard's Return, . . . .121 

The Lullaby of a Female Convict to her Child, . 122 

Canzonet — " Maiden ! Wrap thy Mantle," . . 123 

Melody — " Yes, once more that dying strain," . 123 

Sonnets : — 

To the River Trent, ..... 125 

" Give me a Cottage," .... 125 

Supposed to have been Addressed by a Female Lunatic 

to a Lady, ...... 126 

Supposed to be written by the Poet Dermody, . 123 

The Winter Traveller, .... 127 

By Capel Loft, Esq., ..... 127 

Recantatory, in reply to the foregoing, . . 123 

On hearing the Sounds of an ^Eolian Harp, . 128 

" What art Thou Mighty One," ... 129 

To Capel Lofft, Esq., 129 

To the Moon, . 130 

Written at the Grave of a Friend, , . . 130 

To Misfortune, ..... 131 

ft As thus oppressed," .... 131 

To April, 132 

" Ye Unseen Spirits," .... 132 



■ — , 

CONTENTS. 


xlvii 




PAGE 


Sonnets : — 




To a Taper, . 


133 


" Yes, 'twill be over soon," . 


133 


To Consumption, 


134 


Translated from the French—" Thy judgments, Lord, 


are just," .... 


134 


To my Mother, 


135 


" Sweet to the gay of heart is Summer's Smile," . 135 


" Quick o'er the wintry waste," 


136 


" When I sit Musing," 


136 


Hymns : — 




" Awake, sweet harp of Judah," 


137 


For Family Worship, 


138 


" Lord, my God, in mercy turn," . 


139 


The Star of Bethlehem, 


140 


Odes : — 




To an early Primrose, 


142 


To the Muse, .... 


143 


On Disappointment, . 


144 


To the Harvest Moon, 


146 


To H. Fuseli, Esq., . 


148 


To the Earl of Carlisle, 


151 


To my Lyre, .... 


153 


Genius, .... 


155 


To the Wind, at midnight, . 


157 


Fragment of an Ode to the Moon, . 


158 


To Love, .... 


159 


To Contemplation, 


160 


To the Genius of Romance, . 


164 


To Midnight, . 


165 


To Thought, .... 


166 


On Whit Monday, 


167 


On the Death of Dermody the Poet, 


169 


Fragments :— 




An Eccentric Drama, 


171 


" The Western Gale," 


176 


" Oh ! thou most fatal," 


178 


" Loud rage the W'inds," 


179 


Ci Saw'st thou that light," 


180 


" The Pious Man," . . 


181 


" Lo ! on the Eastern Summit," 


181 



xlviu 



CONTENTS. 



Fragments : — 

" There was a Little Bird," . 

" O pale art thou, my Lamp," 

" O give me Music," . 

" Ah ! who can say, however fair his view," 

"And must thou go," 

" When high romance," 

" Once more, and yet once more," . 

" Hushed is the Lyre," 

Remains : — 

Letters, • • , 

Melancholy Hours, . 

Miscellaneous, ..... 

Tributary Verses : — 

By Lord Byron, » . . , . 

Sonnet by G. L. 0., . 

Sonnet by Arthur Owen (during H. K. White's 1 fe), 

(on reading his Remains), 

By Josiah Conder on reading " Solitude," . 



on the death of II. K. W r hite, 



By Rev. J. Plumptre, 

By Capel Lofft, October 1806, 

■ December 1806, 

written in the Homer of PI. K. White, 

Written at St John's College, Cambridge, 1806, 

To the Memory of H. K. W., by a Lady, . 

Stanzas written at the Grave of H. K. W., by a Lady, 

Ode by Juvenis, ..... 

By William Holloway, .... 

By Rev. Dr Collyer, ..... 

By Thomas Park, F.A.S., .... 

To the Memory of H. K. W., by a Lady, . 

A Reflection by a Lady on the early death of H. K. W r ., 426 

Monody by Joseph Blackett, 4 . . 427 

By H. Walker, ... . 429 

By J. G., 430 

By Mrs M. H. Hay, on reading his Remains, . 430 
on visiting his tomb, . . 432 



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THE POEMS 



OF 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 



CHILDHOOD: 

A POEM. 

[This is one of the Author's earliest productions, and appears, by 
the handwriting, to hare been written when he was between 
fourteen and fifteen. The picture of the Schoolmistress is from 
nature.] 

Part I. 

Pictured in memory's mellowing glass, how sweet 
Our infant days, our infant joys to greet ; 
To roam in fancy in each cherish'd scene, 
The village churchyard, and the village green. 
The woodland walk remote, the greenwood glade, 
The mossy seat beneath the hawthorn's shade, 
The whitewash'd cottage, where the woodbine grew, 
And all the favourite haunts our childhood knew S 
How sweet, while all the evil shuns the gaze, 
To view the unclouded skies of former days ! 

Beloved age of innocence and smiles, 

When each wing'd hour some new delight beguiles, 

When the gay heart, to life's sweet day-spring true, 

Still finds some insect pleasure to pursue, 

Blest Childhood, hail ! — Thee simply will I sing, 

And from myself the artless picture bring ; 

These long-lost scenes to me the past restore, 

Each humble friend, each pleasure, now no more, 

And ev'ry stump familiar to my sight, 

Recalls some fond idea of delight. 

This shrubby knoll was once my favourite seat ; 
Here did I love at evening to retreat, 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 



And muse alone, till in the vault of night, 

Hesper, aspiring, show'd his golden light. 

Here once again remote from human noise, 

I sit me down to think of former joys ; 

Pause on each scene, each treasured scene, once more, 

And once again each infant walk explore, 

While as each grove and lawn I recognise, 

My melted soul suffuses in my eyes. 

And oh ! thou Power, whose myriad trains resort 
To distant scenes, and picture them to thought; 
Whose mirror, held unto the mourner's eye, 
Flings to his soul a borrow'd gleam of joy ; 
Blest Memory, guide, with finger nicely true, 
Back to my youth my retrospective view ; 
Recall with faithful vigour to my mind 
Each face familiar, each relation kind ; 
And ail the liner traits of them aiford, 
Whose general outline in my heart is stored. 

In yonder cot, along whose mouldering walls, 
In many a fold, the mantling woodbine falls, 
The village matron kept her little school, 
Gentle of heart, yet knowing well to rule ; 
Staid was the dame, and modest was her mien ; 
Her garb was coarse, yet whole, and nicely clean : 
Her neatly -border d cap, as lily fair, 
Beneath her chin was pinn'd with decent care ; 
And pendant ruffles, of the whitest lawn, 
Of ancient make, her elbows did adorn. 
Faint with old age, and dim were grown her eyes, 
A pair of spectacles their want supplies ; 
These does she guard secure, in leathern case, 
From thoughtless wights, in some unweeted place. 

Here first I entered, though with toil and pain, 
The low vestibule of learning's fane : 
Enterd with pain, yet soon I found the way, 
Though sometimes toilsome, many a sweet display. 
Much did I grieve, on that ill-fated morn, 



PART I.] CHILDHOOD. 

When I was first to school reluctant borne ; 

Severe I thought the dame, though oft she try'd 

To soothe my swelling spirits when I sigh'd ; 

And oft, when harshly she reproved, I wept, 

To my lone corner brokenhearted crept, 

And thought of tender home, where anger never kept. 

But soon inured to alphabetic toils, 
Alert I met the dame with jocund smiles ; 
First at the form, my task for ever true, 
A little favourite rapidly I grew : 
And oft she stroked my head with fond delight, 
Held me a pattern to the dunce's sight ; 
And as she gave my diligence its praise, 
Talk'd of the honours of my future days. 

Oh, had the venerable matron thought 
Of all the ills by talent often brought ; 
Could she have seen me when revolving years 
Had brought me deeper in the vale of tears, 
Then had she wept, and wish'd my wayward fate 
Had been a lowlier, an unletter'd state; 
Wish'd that, remote from worldly woes and strife, 
Unknown, unheard, I might have pass'd through life. 

Where in the busy scene, by peace unblest, 

Shall the poor wanderer find a place of rest ? 

A lonely mariner on the stormy main, 

Without a hope, the calms of peace to gain ; 

Long toss'd by tempests o'er the world's wide share, 

When shall his spirit rest, to toil no more ? 

Not till the light foam of the sea shall lave 

The sandy surface of his unwept grave. 

Childhood, to thee I turn, from life's alarms, 

Serenest season of perpetual calms, — 

Turn with delight, and bid the passions cease, 

And joy to think with thee I tasted peace. 

Sweet reign of innocence, when no crime defiles, 

But each new object brings attendant smiles ; 

When future evils never haunt the sight, 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



But all is pregnant with unmixt deldght ; 
To thee I turn from riot and from -noise, — 
Turn to partake of more congenial joys. 

'Neath yonder elm, that stands upon the moor, 

"When the clock spoke the hour of labour o'er, 

What clamorous throngs, what happy groups were seen, 

In various postures scatt'ring o'er the green ! 

Some shoot the marble, others join the chace 

Of self-made stag, or run the emulous race ; 

While others, seated on the dappled grass, 

With doleful tales the light-wing'd minutes pass. 

Well I remember how, with gesture starch'd, 

A band of soldiers, oft with pride we march'd ; 

For banners, to a tall ash we did bind 

Our handkerchiefs, flapping to the whistling wind ; 

And for our warlike arms we sought the mead, 

And guns and spears we made of brittle reed ; 

Then, in uncouth array, our feats to crown, 

We storm'd some ruin'd pig-sty for a town. 

Pleased with our gay disports, the dame was wont 

To set her wheel before the cottage front, 

And o'er her spectacles would often peer, 

To view our gambols, and our boyish gear. 

Still as she look'd, her wheel kept turning round, 

With its beloved monotony of sound. 

When tired with play, we'd set us by her side, 

(For out of school she never knew to chide) — 

And wonder at her skill — well known to fame — 

For who could match in spinning with the dame ? 

Her sheets, her linen, which she shovv'd with pride 

To strangers, still her thriftness testified ; 

Though we poor wights did wonder much, in troth, 

How 'twas her spinning manufactured cloth. 

Oft would we leave, though well beloved, oar play, 
To chat at home the vacant hour away. 
Many's the time I've scampered down the glade, 
To ask the promised ditty from the maid, 



PART II.] CHILDHOOD. 



Which well she loved, as well she knew to sing, 
While we around her formed a little ring : 
She told of innocence foredoom'd to bleed, 
Of wicked guardians bent on bloody deed. 
Or little children murder'd as they slept ; 
While at each pause we wrung our hands and wept. 
Sad was such tale, and wonder much did we, 
Such hearts of stone there in the world could be. 
Poor simple wights, ah ! little did we ween 
The ills that wait on man in life's sad scene ! 
Ah, little thought that we ourselves should know, 
This world's a world of weeping and of woe ! 

Beloved moment ! then 'twas first I caught 
The first foundation of romantic thought. 
Then first I shed bold Fancy's thrilling tear, 
Then first that poesy charm'd mine infant ear. 
Soon stored with much of legendary lore, 
The sports of childhood charm'd my soul no more. 
Far from the scene of gaiety and noise. 
Far, far from turbulent and empty joys, 
I hied me to the thick o'erarching shade, 
And there, on mossy carpet listless laid, 
While at my feet the rippling runnel ran, 
The days of wild romance antique I'd scan ; 
Soar on the wings of fancy through the air, 
To realms of light, and pierce the radiance there. 
# * # # 



Part IT. 

There are, who think that Childhood does not share 
With age the cup, the bitter cup of care : 
Alas ! they know not this unhappy truth, 
That every age, and rank, is born to ruth. 

From the first dawn of reason in the mind, 
Man is foredoom'd the thorns of grief to find 3 
At every step has further cause to know, 
The draught of pleasure still is dash'd with woe. 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 



Yet in the youthful breast, for ever caught 
With some new object for romantic thought, 
The impression of the moment quicMy flies, 
And with the morrow every sorrow dies. 

How different manhood ! — then does thought's control 

Sink every pang still deeper in the soul; 

Then keen affliction's sad unceasing smart, 

Becomes a painful resident in the heart ; 

And care, whom not the gayest can outbrave, 

Pursues its feeble victim to the grave. 

Then, as each long-known friend is summoned hence, 

We feel a void no joy can recompence, 

And as we weep o'er every new-made tomb, 

Wish that ourselves the next may meet our doom. 

Yes, Childhood, thee no rankling woes pursue, 

No forms of future ill salute thy view, 

No pangs repentant bid thee wake to weep, 

But Halcyon peace protects thy downy sleep, 

And sanguine Hope through every storm of life 

Hhoots her bright beams, and calms the internal strife. 

Yet e'en round childhood's heart, a thoughtless shrine, 

Affection's little thread will ever twine ; 

And though but frail may seem each tender tie, 

The soul foregoes them but with many a sigh. 

Thus, when the long-expected moment came, 

When forced to leave the gentle-hearted dame, 

Reluctant throbbings rose within my breast, 

And a still tear my silent grief express'd. 

When to the public school compelid to go, 
What novel scenes did on my senses flow ! 
There in each breast each active power dilates, 
Which 'broils whole nations, and convulses states ; 
There reigns, by turns alternate, love and hate, 
Ambition burns, and factious rebels prate ; 
And in a smaller range, a smaller sphere, 
The dark deformities of man appear. 
Yet there the gentler virtues kindred claim, 



PART II.] CHILDHOOD. 



There Friendship lights her pure untainted flame, 
There mild Benevolence delights to dwell, 
And sweet Contentment rests without her cell : 
And there, 'mid many a stormy soul, we find 
The good of heart, the intelligent of mind. 

'Twas there, oh George ! with thee I learcrd to join 

In Friendship's bands — in amity divine. 

Oh, mournful thought ! — Where is thy spirit now ? 

As here I sit on favorite Logar's brow, 

And trace below each well-remember d glade, 

Where, arm in arm, ere while with thee I stray' d. 

Where art thou laid — on what untrodden shore, 

Where nought is heard save ocean's sullen roar? 

Dost thou in lowly, unlamented state, 

At last repose from all the storms of fate ? 

Methinks I see thee struggling with the wave, 

Without one aiding hand stretch'd out to save ; 

See thee convulsed, thy looks to Heaven bend, 

And send thy parting sigh unto thy friend. 

Or where immeasurable wilds dismay, 

Forlorn and sad thou bend'st thy weary way, 

W 7 hile sorrow and disease, w^ith anguish rife, 

Consume apace the ebbing springs of life. 

Again I see his door against thee shut, 

The unfeeling native turn thee from his hut : 

I see thee spent with toil, and worn with grief, 

Sit on the grass, and wish the long'd relief; 

Then lie thee down, the stormy struggle o'er, 

Think on thy native land — and rise no more ! 

Oh that thou couldst, from thine august abode, 
Survey thy friend in life's dismaying road, 
That thou couldst see him at this moment here 3 
Embalm thy memory with a pious tear, 
And hover o'er him as he gazes round, 
W r here all the scenes of infant joys surround. 

Yes ! yes ! his spirit's near ! — The whispering breeze 
Conveys his voice sad sighing on the trees : 



10 HENKY KX11KE WHITE'S POEMS. 

And lo ! his form transparent I perceive, 
Born on the grey mist of the sullen eve : 
He hovers near, clad in the night's dim robe, 
While deathly silence reigns upon the globe. 

Yet ah ! whence comes this visionary scene ? 

'Tis fancy's wild aerial dream I ween ; 

By her inspired, whence reason takes its flight, 

What fond illusions beam upon the sight ! 

She waves her hand, and lo ! what forms appear ! 

What magic sounds salute the wondering ear ! 

Once more o'er distant regions do we tread, 

And the cold grave yields up its cherish'd dead ; 

While present sorrows banish'd far away, 

Unclouded azure gilds the placid day, 

Or in the future's cloud -encircled face, 

Fair scenes of bliss to come Ave fondly trace, 

And draw minutely every little wile. 

Which shall the feathery hours of time beguile. 

So, when forlorn and lonesome, at her gate, 

The Royal Mary solitary sate, 

And view'd the moonbeam trembling on the wave, 

And heard the hollow surge her prison lave, 

Towards France's distant coast she bent her sight, 

For there her soul had wing'd its longing flight ; 

There did she form full many a scheme of joy, 

Visions of bliss unclouded with alloy, 

Which bright through hope's deceitful optics beam'd, 

And all became the surety which it seem'd ; 

She wept, yet felt, while all within was calm, 

In every tear a melancholy charm. 

To yonder hill, whose sides, deform'd and steep, 
Just yield a scanty sust'nance .to the sheep, 
With thee, my friend, I oftentimes have sped, 
To see the sun rise from his healthy bed ; 
To watch the aspect of the summer morn, 
Smiling upon the golden fields of corn, 
And taste, delighted, of superior joys, 



PART II.] CHILDHOOD. H 

Beheld through sympathy's enchanted eyes : 
With silent admiration oft we view'd 
The myriad hues o'er heaven's blue concave strew'd 
The fleecy clouds, of every tint and shade, 
Round which the silvery sunbeam glancing play'd, 
And the round orb itself, in azure throne, 
Just peeping o'er the blue hill's ridgy zone : 
We mark'd, delighted, how, with aspect gay, 
Reviving nature hail'd returning day ; 
Mark'd how the flowrets rear'd their drooping heads, 
And the wild lambkins bounded o'er the meads, 
While from each tree, in tones of sweet delight. 
The birds sung paeans to the source of light : 
Oft have we watched the speckled lark arise, 
Leave his grass bed, and soar to kindred skies, 
And rise, and rise, till the pain'd sight no more 
Could trace him in his high aerial tour : 
Though on the ear, at intervals, his song 
Came wafted slow on the wavy breeze along ; 
And we have thought how happy were our lot, 
Bless'd with some sweet, some solitary cot, 
Where, from the peep of day till russet eve 
Began in every dell her forms to weave, 
We might pursue our sports from day to day, 
And in each other's arms wear life away. 

At sultry noon, too, when our toils were done, 
We to the gloomy glen were wont to run ; 
There on the turf we lay, while at our feet 
The cooling rivulet rippled softly sweet ; 
And mused on holy theme, and ancient lore, 
Of deeds, and days, and heroes now no more ; 
Heard, as his solemn harp Isaiah swept, 
Sung woe unto the wicked land — and wept ; 
Or, fancy led, saw Jeremiah mourn 
In solemn sorrow o'er Judea's urn. 
Then to another shore perhaps would rove, 
With Plato talk in his Ilyssian grove ; 
Or, wand'ring where the Thespian palace rose, 
Weep once again o'er fair Jocasta's woes. 



12 HENRY KlftKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Sweet then to us was that romantic band, 

The ancient legends of our native land — 

Chivalric Britomart, and Una fair, 

And courteous Constance, doom'd to dark despair, 

By turns our thoughts engaged ; and oft we talk'd 

Of times when monarch Superstition stalk'd, 

And when the blood-fraught galliots of Rome 

Brought the grand Druid fabric to its doom ; 

While where the wood-hung Menai's waters flow 

The hoary harpers pour'd the strain of woe. 

While thus employed, to us how sad the bell 

Which summon' d us to school ! 'Twas Fancy's knell, 

And sadly sounding on the sullen ear, 

It spoke of study pale, and chilling fear. 

Yet even then (for oh, what chains can bind, 

What powers control, the energies of mind ?) 

E'en there we soar'd to many a height sublime, 

And many a day-dream charm'd the lazy time. 

At evening, too, how pleasing was our walk, 

Endear'd by Friendship's unrestrained talk, 

When to the upland heights we bent our way, 

To view the last beam of departing day ; 

How calm was all around ! no playful breeze 

Sigh'd 'mid the w r avy foliage of the trees, 

But all was still, save when, with drowsy song, 

The grey-fly wound his sullen horn along ; 

And save w r hen, heard in soft, yet merry glee, 

The distant church-bells' mellow harmony ; 

The silver mirror of the lucid brook, 

That 'mid the tufted broom its still course took ; 

The rugged arch, that clasp'd its silent tides, 

With moss and rank weeds hanging down its sides : 

The craggy rock, that jutted on the sight; 

The shrieking bat, that took its heavy flight ; 

All, all was pregnant with divine delight. 

We loved to watch the swallow^ swimming high, 

In the bright azure of the vaulted sl*y ; 

Or gaze upon the clouds, whose colour'd pride 

Was seatterd thinly o'er the welkin wide, 



PART II.] CHILDHOOD. ]3 

And tinged with such variety of shade, 

To the charm' d soul sublimest thoughts convey'd. 

In these what forms romantic did we trace. 

While fancy led us o'er the realms of space ! 

Now we espied the thunderer in his car, 

Leading the embattled seraphim to war, 

Then stately towers descried, sublimely high, 

In Gothic grandeur frowning on the sky — 

Or saw, wide stretching o'er the azure height, 

A ridge of glaciers in mural white, 

Hugely terrific. — But those times are o'er, 

And the fond scene can charm mine eyes no more ; 

For thou art gone, and I am left below, 

Alone to struggle through this world of woe. 

The scene is o'er — still seasons onward roll, 

And each revolve conducts me toward the goal ; 

Yet all is blank, without one soft relief, 

One endless continuity of grief; 

And the tired soul, now led to thoughts sublime. 

Looks but for rest beyond the bounds of time. 

Toil on, toil on, ye busy crowds, that pant 

For hoards of wealth which ye will never want ; 

And, lost to all but gain, with ease resign 

The calms of peace and happiness divine ! 

Far other cares be mine. — Men little crave, 

In this short journey to the silent grave ; 

And the poor peasant, bless'd with peace and health, 

I envy more than Croesus with his wealth. 

Yet grieve not I, that fate did not decree 

Paternal acres to await on me ; 

She gave me more, she placed within my breast 

A heart with little pleased — with little blest ; 

I look around me, where, on every side, 

Extensive manors spread in wealthy pride ; 

And could my sight be borne to either zone, 

I should not find one foot of land my own. 

But whither do I wander ? shall the Muse ; 



14 HEXRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

For golden baits, her simple theme refuse : 
Oh no ! but while the weary spirit greets 
The fading scenes of Childhood's far-gone sweets, 
It catches all the infant's wandering tongue, 
And prattles on in desultory song. 

That song must close — the gloomy mists of night 
Obscure the pale stars' visionary light, 
And ebon darkness, clad in vapoury wet, 
Steals on the welkin in primeval jet. 

The song must close. — Once more my adverse lot 
Leads me reluctant from this cherishd spot; 
Again compels to plunge in busy life, 
And brave the hateful turbulence of strife. 

Scenes of my youth — ere my unwilling feet 
Are turn'd for ever from this loved retreat, 
Ere on these fields, with plenty cover'd o'er, 
My eyes are closed to ope on them no more, 
Let me ejaculate, to feeling due, 
One long, one last, affectionate adieu. 
Grant that, if ever Providence should please 
To give me an old age of peace and ease, 
Grant that in these sequester'd shades my days 
May wear away in gradual decays : 
And oh, ye spirits, who unbodied play, 
Unseen upon the pinions of the day, 
Kind genii of my native fields benign, 
Who were * * * * 




]Sr<yw, -wieiL the rtLstic weais the social smile. 
P\_elea,secl_ Jiom la,y~ and its attendant toil 
_&n_d dra^s has hxrasehold xoauid there eve-urn ■g 
An-d. tells the oft- told tales that aae-rer tree: 



CLIFTON GROVE. 

A SKETCH IN VERSE. 

Lo ! in the west, fast fades the lingering light, 
And day's last vestige takes its silent flight. 
No more is heard the woodman's measured stroke 
Which, with the dawn, from yonder dingle broke ; 
No more, hoarse clamouring o'er the uplifted head, 
The crows assembling, seek their wind-rock'd bed 
Still'd is the village hum — the woodland sounds 
Have ceased to echo o'er the dewy grounds, 
And general silence reigns, save when below, 
The murmuring Trent is scarcely heard to flow ; 
And save when, swung by 'nighted rustic late, 
Oft, on its hinge, rebounds the jarring gate : 
Or, when the sheep bell, in the distant vale, 
Breathes its wild music on the downy gale. 

Now, when the rustic wears the social smile, 

Released from day and its attendant toil, 

And draws his household round their evening fire, 

And tells the oft-told tales that never tire : 

Or, where the town's blue turrets dimly rise, 

And manufacture taints the ambient skies, 

The pale mechanic leaves the labouring loom, 

The air-pent hold, the pestilential room, 

And rushes out, impatient to begin 

The stated course of customary sin : 

Now, now, my solitary way I bend 

Where solemn groves in awful state impend, 



16 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

And cliffs, that boldly rise above the plain, 

Bespeak, blest Clifton ! thy sublime domain. 

Here, lonely wandering o'er the sylvan bower, 

I come to pass the meditative hour ; 

To bid awhile the strife of passion cease, 

And woo the calms of solitude and peace. 

And oh ! thou sacred power, who rear'st on high 

Thy leafy throne where waving poplars sigh ! 

Genius of woodland shades ! whose mild control 

Steals with resistless witchery to the soul, 

Come with thy wonted ardour and inspire 

My glowing bosom with thy hallowed fire. 

And thou, too, Fancy ! from thy starry sphere, 

Where to the hymning orbs thou lend'st thine ear, 

Do thou descend, and bless my ravish'd sight, 

Veil'd in soft visions of serene delight. 

At thy command the gale that passes by 

Bears in its whispers mystic harmony. 

Thou wav'st thy wand, and lo ! what forms appear ! 

On the dark cloud what giant shapes career ! 

The ghosts of Ossian skim the misty vale, 

And hosts of Sylphids on the moonbeam sail. 



This gloomy alcove, darkling to the sight, 

Where meeting trees create eternal night ; 

Save when from yonder stream the sunny ray 

Reflected gives a dubious gleam of day ; 

Recals endearing to my alter'd mind, 

Times when, beneath the boxen hedge reclined, 

I watch'd the lapwing to her clamorous brood ; 

Or lured the robin to its scatter'd food, 

Or woke with song the woodland echo wild, 

And at each gay response delighted smiled. 

How oft, when childhood threw its golden ray 

Of gay romance o'er every happy day, 

Here would I run, a visionary boy, 

When the hoarse tempest shook the vaulted sky, 

And, fancy-led, beheld the Almighty's form 

Sternly careering on the eddying storm ; 



CLIFTON GEOVE. 17 



And heard, while awe congeal'd my inmost soul, 

His voice terrific in the thunders roll. 

With secret joy, I view'd with vivid glare, 

The volley'd lightnings cleave the sullen air ; 

And ; as the warring winds around reviled, 

With awful pleasure big, — I heard and smil'd. 

Beloved remembrance ! — Memory which endears 

This silent spot to my advancing years. 

Here dwells eternal peace, eternal rest, 

In shades like these to live, is to be blest. 

While happiness evades the busy crowd, 

In rural coverts loves the maid to shroud. 

And thou, too, Inspiration, whose wild flame 

Shoots with electric swiftness through the frame, 

Thou here dost love to sit, with up-turn'd eye, 

And listen to the stream that murmurs by, 

The woods that wave, the grey- owl's silken flight, 

The mellow music of the listening night. 

Congenial calms more welcome to my breast 

Than maddening joy in dazzling lustre drest, 

To heaven my prayers, my daily prayers I raise, 

That ye may bless my unambitious clays, 

Withdrawn, remote, from all the haunts of strife 

May trace with me the lowly vale of life, 

And when her banner Death shall o'er me wave 

May keep your peaceful vigils on my grave. 

Now, as I rove, where wide the prospect grows, 

A livelier light upon my vision flows. 

No more above, the embracing branches meet ; 

No more the river gurgles at my feet, 

But seen deep down the cliff's impending side 

Through hanging woods, now gleams its silver tide. 

Dim is my upland path, — across the Green 

Fantastic shadows fling, yet oft between 

The chequer'd glooms, the moon her chaste ray sheds, 

Where knots of blue-bells droop their graceful heads, 

And beds of violets blooming 'mid the trees, 

Load with waste fragrance the nocturnal breeze. 

Say, why does man, while to his opening sight, 



18 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S POEM 8. 

Each shrub presents a source of chaste delight, 
And nature bids for him her treasures flow, 
And gives to him alone, his bless to know, 
Why does he pant for Vice's deadly charms ? 
Why clasp the syren Pleasure to his arms ? 
And suck deep draughts of her voluptuous breath, 
Though fraught with ruin, infamy, and death ? 
Could he who thus to vile enjoyments clings, 
Know what calm joy from purer sources springs, 
Could he but feel how sweet, how free from strife, 
The harmless pleasures of a harmless life, 
No more his soul would pant for joys impure, 
The deadly chalice would no more allure, 
But the sweet potion he was wont to sip, 
Would turn to poison on his conscious lip. 

Fair Nature ! thee, in all thy varied charms, 
Fain would I clasp for ever in my arms : 
Thine are the sweets which never, never sate, 
Thine still remain, through all the storms of fate. 
Though not for me 'twas Heaven's divine command 
To roll in acres of paternal land, 
Yet still, my lot is blest, while I enjoy 
Thine opening beauties with a lover's eye. 

Happy is he, who, though the cup of bliss 

Has ever shunn'd him when he thought to kiss, 

Who, still in abject poverty, or pain, 

Can count with pleasure what small joys remain : 

Though were his sight convey'd from zone to zone, 

He would not find one spot of ground his own, 

Yet, as he looks around, he cries with glee, 

These bounding prospects all were made for me : 

For me, yon waving fields their burthen bear, 

For me, yon labourer guides the shining share, 

While happy I, in idle ease recline, 

And mark the glorious visions as they shine. 

This is the charm, by sages often told, 

Converting all it touches into gold. 

Content can soothe, where'er by fortune placed, 



CLIFTON GROVE. 19 



Can rear a garden in the desert waste. 
How lovely, from this hill's superior height, 
Spreads the wide view before my straining sight ! 
O'er many a varied mile of lengthening ground, 
E'en to the blue-ridged hill's remotest bound 
My ken is borne, while o'er my head serene 
The silver moon illumes the misty scene, 
Now shining clear, now darkening in the glade, 
In all the soft varieties of shade. 

Behind me, lo ! the peaceful hamlet lies ; 

The drowsy god has seal'd the cottar's eyes. 

No more, where late the social faggot blazed, 

The vacant peal resounds, by little raised ; 

But, lock'd in silence, o'er Arion's* star 

The slumbering night rolls on her velvet car ; 

The church-bell tolls, deep-sounding down the glade. 

The solemn hour, for walking spectres made ; 

The simple ploughboy, wakening with the sound, 

Listens aghast, and turns him startled round, 

Then stops his ears, and strives to close his eyes, 

Lest at the sound some grisly ghost should rise. 

Now ceased the long, the monitory toll, 

Returning silence stagnates in the soul ; 

Save when, disturbed by dreams, with wild affright, 

The deep-mouth' d mastiff bays the troubled night ; 

Or where the village ale-house crowns the vale, 

The creaking sign-post whistles to the gale. 

A little onward let me bend my way, 

Where the moss'd seat invites the traveller's stay. 

That spot, oh ! yet it is the very same ; 

That hawthorn gives it shade, and gave it name ; 

There yet the primrose opes its earliest bloom, 

There yet the violet sheds its first perfume, 

And in the branch that rears above the rest 

The robin unmolested builds its nest. 

'Twas here, when Hope, presiding o'er my breast, 

In vivid colours every prospect drest ; 

* The Constellation Delphinus. Eor authority for this appellation , 
vide Ovid's Fasti, B. xi., 113. 



20 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

'Twas here, reclining, I indulged her dreams, 

And lost the hour in visionary schemes. 

Here, as I press once more the ancient seat, 

Why, bland deceiver ! not renew the cheat ? 

Say, can a few short years this change achieve, 

That thy illusions can no more deceive ! 

Time's sombrous tints have every view o'erspread, 

And thou, too, gay Seducer ! art thou fled ? 

Though vain thy promise, and thy suit severe, 

Yet thou couldst 'guile misfortune of her tear, 

And oft thy smiles across life's gloomy way, 

Could throw a gleam of transitory day. 

How gay, in youth, the flattering future seems ; 

How sweet is manhood in the infant's dreams ; 

The dire mistake too soon is brought to light. 

And all is buried in redoubled night. 

Yet some can rise superior to the pain, 

And in their breasts the charmer Hope retain : 

While others, dead to feeling, can survey 

Unmoved, their fairest prospects fade away : 

But yet a few there be, — too soon o'ercast ! 

Who shrink unhappy from the adverse blast, 

And woo the first bright gleam, which breaks the gloom, 

To gild the silent slumbers of the tomb. 

So, in these shades, the early primrose blows, 

Too soon deceived by suns, and melting snows : 

So falls untimely on the desert waste, 

Its blossoms withering in the northern blast. 

Now pass'd whate'er the upland heights display, 
Down the steep cliff I wind my devious way ; 
Oft rousing, as the rustling path I beat, 
The timid hare from its accustom'd seat. 
And oh ! how sweet this walk o'erhung with wood, 
That winds the margin of the solemn flood ! 
What rural objects steal upon the sight ! 
What rising views prolong the calm delight ! 
The brooklet branching from the silver Trent, 
The whispering birch by every zephyr bent, 
The woody island, and the naked mead, 



CLIFTOX GLOVE. 21 



The lowly hut half hid in groves of reed, 
The rural wicket, and the rural stile, 
And frequent interspersed, the woodman's pile. 
Above, below, where'er I turn my eyes, 
Roots, waters, woods, in grand succession rise. 
High up the cliif the varied groves ascend, 
And mournful larches o'er the wave impend. 
Around, what sounds, what magic sounds arise, 
What glimm'ring scenes salute my ravish'd eyes : 
Soft sleep the waters on their pebbly bed, 
The woods wave gently o'er my drooping head. 
And swelling slow, comes wafted on the wind, 
Lorn Progne's note from distant copse behind. 
Still, every rising sound of calm delight 
Stamps but the fearful silence of the night ; 
Save, when is heard, between each dreary rest, 
Discordant from her solitary nest, 
The owl, dull screaming to the wandering moon ; 
Xow riding, cloud-wrapt, near her highest noon : 
Or, when the wild-duck, southering, hither rides, 
And plunges sullen in the sounding tides. 

How oft, in this sequester'd spot, when youth 

Gave to each tale the holy force of truth, 

Have I long linger'd, while the milk-maid sung 

The tragic legend, till the woodland rung ! 

That tale, so sad ! which, still to memory dear, 

From its sweet source can call the sacred tear. 

And (lull'd to rest stern reason's harsh control) 

Steal its soft magic to the passive soul. 

These hallow'd shades, — these trees that woo the wind, 

Recall its faintest features to my mind. 

A hundred passing years, with march sublime, 

Have swept beneath the silent wing of time, 

Since, in yon hamlet's solitary shade, 

Reclusely dwelt the far-famed Clifton Maid, 

The beatueous Margaret ; for her each swain 

Confest in private his peculiar pain, 

In secret sigh'd, a victim to despair, 

Nor dared to hope to win the peerless fair. 



22 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

No more the shepherd on the blooming mead 
Attuned to gaiety his artless reed, 
No more entwined the pansied wreath, to deck 
His favourite wether's unpolluted neck ; 
But listless, by yon bubbling stream reclined, 
He mixed his sobbings with the passing wind, 
Bemoan'd his hapless love, or boldly bent, 
Far from these smiling fields, a rover w T ent, 
O'er distant lands, in search of ease to roam, 
A self-w r iird exile from his native home. 

Yet not to all the maid express'd disdain, 

Her Bateman loved, nor loved the youth in vain. 

Full oft, low whispering o'er these arching boughs, 

The echoing vault responded to their vows, 

As here deep hidden from the glare of day, 

Enamour' d, oft they took their secret way. 

Yon bosky dingle, still the rustics name ; 
'Twas there the blushing maid confess'd her flame. 
Down yon green lane they oft were seen to hie, 
When evening slumber'd on the western sky. 
That blasted yew, that mouldering walnut bare, 
Each bears mementoes of the fated pair. 

One eve, when autumn loaded ev'ry breeze 

With the fallen honours of the mourning trees, 

The maiden waited at the accustomed bower, 

And waited long beyond the appointed hour, 

Yet Bateman came not : o'er the woodland drear, 

Howling portentous, did the winds career ; 

And bleak and dismal on the leafless woods, 

The fitful rains rush'd down in sudden floods, 

The night was dark ; as, now-and-then the gale 

Paused for a moment, — Margaret listen'd, pale ; 

But through the covert to her anxious ear, 

No rustling footstep spoke her lover near. 

Strange fears now filled her breast, — she knew not why ; 

She sigh'd, and Bateman's name was in each sigh. 

She hears a noise, — 'tis he — he comes at last. 

Alas ! 'twas but the gale which hurried past ; 



CLIFTON GROVE. 23 



But now she hears a quickening footstep sound, 

Lightly it comes, and nearer does it bound : 

'Tis Bateman's self, — he springs into her arms, 

"lis he that clasps, and chides her vain alarms. 

ci Yet why this silence ? — I have waited long, 

And the cold storm has yell'd the trees among. 

And now thou'rt here my fears are fled — yet speak, 

Why does the salt tear moisten on thy cheek ? 

Say, what is wrong ?" — Now through a parting cloud, 

The pale moon peer'd from her tempestuous shroud, 

And Bateman's face was seen ; — 'twas deadly white, 

And sorrow seem'd to sicken in his sight. 

4w Oh, speak, my love !" again the maid conjured ; 

" Why is thy heart in sullen woe immured?*' 

He raised his head, and thrice essay'd to tell, 

Thrice from his lips the unfinished accents fell; 

When thus at last reluctantly he broke 

His boding silence, and the maid bespoke : — 

" Grieve not, my love, but ere the morn advance 

I on these fields must cast my parting glance ; 

For three long years, by cruel fate's command, 

I go to languish in a foreign land. 

Oh, Margaret ! omens dire have met my view 

Say, when far distant, wilt thou bear me true ? 

Should honours tempt thee, and should riches fee, 

¥v r ouldst thou forget thine ardent vows to me, 

And on the silken couch of wealth reclined, 

Banish thy faithful Bateman from thy mind ?" 

4i Oh ! why," replies the maid, " my faith thus prove ? — 

Canst thou ! ah, canst thou, then, suspect my love ? 

Hear me, just God ! if, from my traitorous heart, 

My Bateman's fond remembrance e'er shall part, 

If, when he hail again his native shore, 

He finds his Margaret true to him no more, 

May fiends of hell, and every power of dread, 

Conjoin'd, then drag me from my perjured bed, 

And hurl me headlong down these awful steeps, 

To find deserved death in yonder deeps !"* 

* Tin's part of the Trent is commonly called" The Clifton Deeps." 



24 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Thus spake the maid, and from her finger drew 

A golden ring, and broke it quick in two ; 

One half she in her lovely bosom hides, 

The other, trembling, to her love confides. 

" This bind the vow," she said, " this mystic charm 

No future recantation can disarm, 

The rite vindictive does the fates involve, 

No tears can move it, no regrets dissolve." 

She ceased. The death-bird gave a dismal cry, 
The river moan'd, the wild gale whistled by, 
And once again the lady of the night, 
Behind a heavy cloud withdrew her light. 
Trembling she viewed these portents with dismay : 
But gently Bateman kiss'd her fears away : 
Yet still he felt conceal'd a secret smart, 
Still melancholy bodings fill'd his heart. 

When to the distant land the youth was sped, 

A lonely life the moody maiden led. 

Still would she trace each dear, each well-known walk, 

Still by the moonlight to her love would talk ; 

And fancy as she paced among the trees, 

She heard his whispers in the dying breeze. 

Thus two years glided on, in silent grief ; 
The third, her bosom own'd the kind relief: 
Absence had cool'd her love, — the impoverish' d flame 
Was dwindling fast, when lo ! the tempter came ; 
He offered wealth, and all the joys of life, 
And the weak maid became another's wife ! 

Six guilty months had mark'd the false one's crime, 
When Bateman hail'd once more his native clime. 
Sure of her constancy, elate he came, 
The lovely partner of his soul to claim. 
Light was his heart, as up the well-known way 
He bent his steps — and all his thoughts were gay. 
Oh ! who can paint his agonizing throes, 
When on his ear the fatal news arose. 



CLIFTON GROVE. 



Chill'd with amazement, — senseless with the blow, 
He stood a marble monument of woe. 
Till call'd to all the horrors of despair, 
He smote his brow, and tore his horrent hair ; 
Then rush'd impetuous from the dreadful spot, 
And sought those scenes (by memory ne'er forgot"), 
Those scenes, the witness of their growing flame, 
And now like witnesses of Margaret's shame. 
'Twas night — he sought the river's lonely shore, 
And traced again their former wanderings o'er. 
Now on the bank in silent grief he stood, 
And gazed intently on the stealing flood, 
Death in his mien and madness in his eye, 
He watch'd the waters as they murmur'd by ; 
Bade the base murderess triumph o'er his grave — ■ 
Prepared to plunge into the whelming wave. 
Yet still he stood irresolutely bent, 
Religion sternly stayed his rash intent. 
He knelt. — Cool played upon his cheek the wind, 
And fann'd the fever of his maddening mind. 
The willows waved, the stream it sweetly swept, 
The paly moonbeam on its surface slept, 
And all was peace : — he felt the general calm 
O'er his rack'd bosom shed a genial balm : 
When casting far behind his streaming eye, 
He saw the Grove, — in fancy saw her lie, 
His Margaret, lull'd in Germain's* arms to rest, 
And all the demon rose within his breast. 
Convulsive now, he clench'd his trembling hand, 
Cast his dark eye once more upon the land, 
Then, at one spring, he spurn'd the yielding bank, 
And in the calm deceitful current sank. 

Sad, on the solitude of night, the sound, 

As in the stream he plunged, was heard around : 

Then all was still, — the wave was rough no more, 

The river swept as sweetly as before, 

The willows waved, the moonbeam shone serene, 

And peace returning brooded o'er the scene. 

* Germain is tlie traditionary name of her husband. 



26 heitey kieke white s poems. 

.Now, see upon the perjured fair one hang 
Remorse's glooms and never-ceasing pang. 
Full well she knew, repentant now too late, 
She soon must bow beneath the stroke of fate. 
But, for the babe she bore beneath her breast, 
The offended God prolong'd her life unblest. 
But fast the fleeting moments roll'd away, 
And near and nearer drew the dreaded day ; 
That day, foredoom'd to give her child the light, 
And hurl its mother to the shades of night. 

The hour arrived, and from the wretched wife 

The guiltless baby struggled into life. — 

As night drew on, around her bed, a band 

Of friends and kindred kindly took their stand ; 

In holy prayer they pass'd the creeping time, 

Intent to expiate her awful crime. 

Their prayers were fruitless. — As the midnight came, 

A heavy sleep oppressed each weary frame. 

In vain they strove against the o'erwhelming load , 

Some power unseen their drowsy lids bestrode. 

They slept, till in the blushing eastern sky 

The bloomy morning oped her dewy eye : 

Then wakening wide they sought the ravish'd bed, 

But lo ! the hapless Margaret was fled ; 

And never more the weeping train were doom'd 

To view the false one, in the deeps intomb'd. 

The neighbouring rustics told that in the night 

They heard such screams, as froze them with affright ; 

And many an infant at its mother's breast, 

Started dismayed, from its unthinking rest. 

And even now, upon the heath forlorn, 

They show the path, down which the fair was borne, 

By the fell demons, to the yawning wave, 

Her own and murder'd lover's mutual grave. 

Such is the tale, so sad, to memory dear, 

Which oft in youth has charmed my listening ear. 



CLIFTOX GKOVE* 97 



That tale, which made me find redoubled sweets 
In the drear silence of these dark retreats ; 
And even now, with melancholy power, 
Adds a new pleasure to the lonely hour. 
'Mid all the charms by magic Nature given 
To this wild spot, this sublunary heaven, 
With double joy enthusiast fancy leans 
On the attendant legend of the scenes. 
This sheds a fairy lustre on the floods, 
And breathes a mellower gloom upon the woods ; 
This, as the distant cataract swells around, 
Gives a romantic cadence to the sound : 
This, and the deep'ning glen, the alley green, 
The silver stream, with sedgy tufts between. 
The massy rock, the wood-encompass'd leas, 
The broom- clad islands, and the nodding trees, 
The lengthening vista, and the present gloom, 
The verdant pathway breathing waste perfume ; 
These are thy charms, the joys which these impart 
Bind thee, blest Clifton ! close around my heart. 

Dear native Grove ! where'er my devious track, 

To thee will memory lead the wanderer back. 

Whether in Arno's polished vales I stray, 

Or where " Oswego's swamps'' obstruct the day ; 

Or wander lone, where, wiklering and wide, 

The tumbling torrent laves St Gothard's side ; 

Or by Old Tejo's classic margent muse, 

Or stand entranced with Pyrenean views ; 

Still, still to thee, where'er my footsteps roam, 

My heart shall point, and lead the wanderer home. 

When splendour offers, and when Fame incites, 

I'll pause, and think of all thy dear delights, 

Reject the boon, and, wearied with the change, 

Renounce the wish which first induced to range ; 

Turn to these scenes, these well-known scenes, once more, 

Trace once again Old Trent's romantic shore, 

And, tired with worlds, and all their busy ways, 

Here waste the little remnant of my days. 

But, if the Fates should this last wish deny, 



28 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 

And doom me on some foreign shore to die ; 
Oh ! should it please the world's supernal King, 
That weltering waves my funeral dirge shall sing ; 
Or that my corse should, on some desert strand, 
Lie stretched beneath the Simoom's blasting hand ; 
Still, though unwept I find a stranger tomb, 
My sprite shall wander through this favourite gloom, 
Ride on the wind that sweeps the leafless grove, 
Sigh on the wood-blast of the dark alcove, 
Sit, a lorn spectre, on yon well-known grave, 
And mix its moanings with the desert wave. 



TIME. 

A POEM. 

[This Poein was begun either during the publication of Clifton 
Grove or shortly afterwards. The Author never laid aside the 
intention of completing it, and some of the detached parts were 
among his latest productions.] 

Genius of musings, who, the mid night hour 

Wasting in woods or haunted forests wild, 

Dost watch Orion in his arctic tower, 

Thy dark eye fixed as in some holy trance : 

Or, when the volley' d lightnings cleave the air, 

And Ruin gaunt bestrides the winged storm, 

Sitt'st in some lonely watch-tower — where thy lamp, 

Faint-blazing, strikes the fisher's eye from far, 

And 'mid the howl of elements, unmov'd 

Dost ponder on the aw T ful scene, and trace 

The vast effect to its superior source, — 

Spirit, attend my lowly benison ! 

For now I strike to themes of import high 

The solitary lyre ; and borne by thee 

Above this narrow cell, I celebrate 

The mysteries of Time ! 

Him who, august, 
Was ere these worlds were fashioned, — ere the sun 
Sprang from the east, or Lucifer displayed 
His glowing cresset on the arch of morn, 
Or Vesper gilded the serener eve. 
Yea, He had been for an eternity ! 
Had swept unvarying from eternity 
The harp of desolation, ere his tones 



30 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 

At God's command, assumed a milder strain, 
And startled on his watch, in the vast deep, 
Chaos's sluggish sentry, and evoked 
From the dark void the smiling universe. 

Chained to the grovelling frailties of the flesh 

Mere mortal man, unpurged from earthly dross, 

Cannot survey, with fixed and steady eye, 

The dim uncertain gulf, which now the Muse 

Adventurous w r ould explore : — but dizzy grown, 

He topples down the abyss. — If he would scan 

The fearful chasm, and catch a transient glimpse 

Of its unfathomable depths, that so 

His mind may turn with double joy to Cod, 

His only certainty and resting place ; 

He must put off a while this mortal vest. 

And learn to follow without giddiness, 

To heights where all is vision and surprise, 

And vague conjecture. — He must waste by night 

The studious taper, far from all resort 

Of crowds and folly, in some still retreat ; 

High on the beetling promontory's crest, 

Or in the caves of the vast wilderness, 

Where compass'd round with nature's wildest shapes, 

He may be driven to centre all his thoughts 

In the great Architect, who lives confest 

In rocks, and seas, and solitary wastes. 

So has divine philosophy, with voice 
Mild as the murmurs of the moonlight wave. 
Tutor'd the heart of him, who now awakes, 
Touching the chords of solemn minstrelsy, 
His faint, neglected song — intent to snatch 
Some vagrant blossom from the dangerous steep 
Of poesy, a bloom of such an hue, 
So sober, as may not unseemly suit 
With Truth's severer brow ; and one withal 
So hardy as shall brave the passing wind 
Of many winters, — rearing its meek head 
In loveliness, when he who gathered it 



TIME. 31 

Is number'd with the generations gone. 

Yet not to me hath God's good providence 

Given studious leisure,* or unbroken thought, 

Such as he owns, — a meditative man, 

Who from the blush of morn to quiet eve 

Ponders, or turns the page of wisdom o'er, 

Far from the busy crowd's tumultuous din ; 

From noise and wrangling far, and unclisturb'd 

With mirth's unholy shouts. For me the day 

Hath duties which require the vigorous hand 

Of steadfast application, but which leave 

No deep improving trace upon the mind. 

But be the day another's : — let it pass ! 

The night's my own ! — They cannot steal my night ! 

When Evening lights her folding-star on high, 

I live and breathe, and in the sacred hours 

Of quiet and repose my spirit flies, 

Free as the morning, o'er the realms of space, 

And mounts the skies, and imps her wing for heaven. 

Hence do I love the sober- suited maid ; 

Hence Night's my friend, my mistress and my theme, 

And she shall aid me now to magnify 

The night of ages, — now when the pale ray 

Of star-light penetrates the studious gloom, 

And at my window seated, — while mankind 

Are lock'd in sleep, I feel the freshening breeze 

Of stillness blow, while, in her saddest stole, 

Thought, like a wakeful vestal at her shrine, 

Assumes her wonted sway. 

Behold the world 
Rests, and her tired inhabitants have paused 
From trouble and turmoil. The widow now 
Has ceased to weep, and her twin orphans lie 
Lock'd in each arm, partakers of her rest. 
The man of sorrow has forgot his woes ; 
The outcast that his head is shelterless. 
His griefs unshared. — The mother tends no more 

* The Author was then in an attorney's office. 



32 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Her daughter's dying slumbers, but, surprised 

With heaviness, and sunk upon her couch, 

Dreams of her bridals. Even the hectic, lull'd 

On Death's lean arm to rest, in visions wrapt, 

Crowning with hope's bland wreath his shuddering nurse, 

Poor victim ! smiles. — Silence and deep repose 

Reign o'er the nations ; and the warning voice 

Of nature utters audibly within 

The general moral : — tells us that repose, 

Deathlike as this, but of far longer span, 

Is coming on us — that the weary crowds 

Who now enjoy a temporary calm, 

Shall soon taste lasting quiet, wrapt around 

With grave-clothes ; and their aching, restless heads 

Mouldering in holes and corners unobserved, 

Till the last trump shall break their sullen sleep. 

Who needs a teacher to admonish him 

That flesh is grass ? — That earthly things are mist ? 

What are our joys but dreams ? and what our hopes 

But goodly shadows in a summer cloud ? 

There's not a wind that blows but bears with it 

Some rainbow promise : — Not a moment flies 

But puts its sickle in the fields of life, 

And mows its thousands, with their joys and cares. 

'Tis but as yesterday since on yon stars, 

Which now I view, the Chaldee shepherd* gazed, 

In his mid- watch observant, and disposed 

The twinkling hosts as fancy gave them shape. 

Yet in the interim what mighty shocks 

Have buffeted mankind, — whole nations razed, — 

Cities made desolate, — the polish'd sunk 

To barbarism, and once barbaric states 

Swaying the wand of science and of arts ; 

Illustrious deeds and memorable names 

Blotted from record, and upon the tongue 

Of grey tradition voluble no more. 

* Alluding to the first astronomical observations made by the Chal- 
dean Shepherds. 



TIME. 33 

Where are the heroes of the ages past ? 

Where the brave chieftains, where the mighty ones 

Who flourished in the infancy of days ? 

All to the grave gone down. On their fallen fame 

Exulting, mocking at the pride of man, 

Sits grim Forgetfulness. — The warrior's arm 

Lies nerveless on the pillow of its shame ; 

Hush'd is his stormy voice, and quench'd the blaze 

Of his red eye-ball. — Yesterday his name 

Was mighty on the earth. — To-day — 'tis what ? 

The meteor of the night of distant years, 

That flash'* d unnoticed, save by wrinkled eld, 

Musing at midnight upon prophecies, 

Who at her lonely lattice saw the gleam 

Point to the mist-poised shroud, then quietly 

Closed her pale lips, and locked the secret up 

Safe in the enamel's treasures, 

how weak 
Is mortal man ! how trifling — how confined 
His scope of vision. Puffed with confidence, 
His phrase grows big with immortality, 
And he, poor insect of a summer's day, 
Dreams of eternal honours to his name ; 
Of endless glory and perennial bays. 
He idly reasons of eternity, 
As of the train of ages, — when, alas ! 
Ten thousand thousand of his centuries 
Are, in comparison, a little point, 

Too trivial for accompt. it is strange, 

'Tis passing strange, to mark his fallacies ; 
Behold him proudly view some pompous pile, 
Whose high dome swells to emulate the skies, 
And smile and say, li My name shall live with this 
'Till Time shall be no more ;" while at his feet. 
Yea. at his very feet, the crumbling dust 
Of the fallen fabric of the other day 
Preaches the solemn lesson : He should know, 
That time must conquer — That the loudest blast 
That ever fill'd Renown's obstreperous trump 
Fades in the lapse of ages, and expires. 



34 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Who lies inhumed in the terrific gloom 

Of the gigantic pyramid ? or who 

Rear'd its huge walls ? Oblivion laughs, and says, 

" The prey is mine." — They sleep, and never more 

Their names shall strike upon the ear of man, 

Their memory burst its fetters. 

Where is Rome ? 
She lives but in the tale of other times ; 
Her proud pavilions are the hermit's home ; 
And her long colonnades, her public walks, 
Now faintly echo to the pilgrim's feet 
Who comes to muse in solitude, and trace, 
Through the rank moss reveal'd, her honour'd dust. 
But not to Rome alone has fate confined 
The doom of ruin ; cities numberless, 
Tyre, Sidon, Carthage, Babylon, and Troy, 
And rich Phoenicia — they are blotted out, 
Half-razed from memory, and their very name 
And being in dispute. — Has Athens fallen ? 
Is polished Greece become the savage seat 
Of ignorance and sloth ? and shall we dare 
# # * * 

And empire seeks another hemisphere. 

Where now is Britain? — Where her laurell'd names, 

Her palaces and halls. Dash'd in the dust. 

Some second Vandal hath reduced her pride, 

And with one big recoil hath thrown her back 

To primitive barbarity. Again, 

Through her depopulated vales, the scream 

Of bloody superstition hollow rings, 

And the scarr'd native to the tempest howls 

The yell of deprecation. O'er her marts, 

Her crowded ports, broods Silence ; and the cry 

Of the low curlew, and the pensive dash 

Of distant billows, breaks alone the void. 

Even as the savage sits upon the stone 

That marks where stood her capitols, and hears 

The bittern booming in the weeds, he shrinks 

From the dismaying solitude. — Her bards 

Sing in a language that hath perished ; 



TIME. 35 

And their wild harps, suspended o'er their graves, 
Sigh to the desert winds a dying strain. 

Meanwhile the arts, in second infancy, 

Rise in some distant clime, and then perchance 

Some bold adventurer, filled with golden dreams, 

Steering his bark through trackless solitudes, 

Where, to his wandering thoughts, no daring prow 

Hath ever ploughed before, — espies the cliffs 

Of fallen Albion. — To the land unknown 

He journeys joyful ; and perhaps descries 

Some vestige of her ancient stateliness ; 

Then he, with vain conjecture, fills his mind 

Of the unheard-of race, which had arrived 

At science in that solitary nook, 

Far from the civil world : and sagely sighs 

And moralizes on the state of man. 

Still on its march, unnoticed and unfelt, 

Moves on our being. We do live and breathe, 

And we are gone. The spoiler heeds us not. 

We have our spring-time and our rottenness ; 

And as we fall, another race succeeds 

To perish likewise. — -Meanwhile nature smiles — 

The seasons run their round — the sun fulfils 

His annual course — and heaven and earth remain 

Still changing, yet unchanged — still doom VI to feel 

Endless mutation in perpetual rest. 

Where are conceal' d the days which have elapsed ? 

Hid in the mighty cavern of the past, 

They rise upon us only to appal, 

By indistinct and half-glimpsed images, 

Misty, gigantic, huge, obscure, remote. 

Oh, it is fearful, on the midnight couch, 

When the rude rushing winds forget to rave, 

And the pale moon, that through the casement high 

Surveys the sleepless muser, stamps the hour 

Of utter silence, it is fearful then 

To steer the mind, in deadly solitude, 



36 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Up the vague stream of probability : 

To wind the mighty secrets of the past, 

And turn the key of time ! — Oh who can strive 

To comprehend the vast, the awful truth, 

Of the eternity that hath gone by, 

And not recoil from the dismaying sense 

Of human impotence ? The life of man 

Is summ'd in birth- days and in sepulchres ; 

But the Eternal God had no beginning ; 

He hath no end. Time had been with him 

For everlasting, ere the daedal world 

Rose from the gulf in loveliness. — Like him 

It knew no source, like him 'twas uncreate. 

What is it then ? The past Eternity ! 

We comprehend a future without end ; 

We feel it possible that even yon sun 

May roll for ever ; but we shrink amazed — 

We stand aghast, when we reflect that Time 

Knew no commencement. — That, heap age on age, 

And million upon million, without end, 

And we shall never span the void of days 

That were, and are not but in retrospect. 

The Past is an unfathomable depth, 

Beyond the span of thought ; 'tis an elapse 

Which hath no mensuration, but hath been 

For ever and for ever. 

Change of days 
To us is sensible ; and each revolve 
Of the recording sun conducts us on 
Further in life, and nearer to our goal. 
Not so with Time, — mysterious chronicler, 
He knoweth not mutation ; — centuries 
Are to his being as a day, and days 
As centuries. — Time past, and Time to come, 
Are always equal ; when the world began 
God had existed from eternity. 



Now look on man 
Myriads of ages hence. — Hath time elapsed ! 



TIME. 37 

Is he not standing in the self- same place 

"Where once we stood ! — The same eternity 

Hath gone before him, and is yet to come : 

His past is not of longer span than ours, 

Though myriads of ages intervened ; 

For who can add to what has neither sum, 

Nor bound, nor source, nor estimate, nor end ! 

Oh, who can compass the Almighty mind ? 

Who can unlock the secrets of the High ? 

In speculations of an altitude 

Sublime as this, our reason stands confest 

Foolish, and insignificant, and mean. 

Who can apply the futile argument 

Of finite beings to infinity ? 

He might as well compress the universe 

Into the hollow compass of a gourd, 

Scooped out by human art ; or bid the whale 

Drink up the sea it swims in. — Can the less 

Contain the greater ? or the dark obscure 

Infold the glories of meridian day ? 

What does philosophy impart to man 

But undiscovered wonders ? — Let her soar 

Even to her proudest heights, — to where she caught 

The soul of Xewton and of Socrates, 

She but extends the scope of wild amaze 

And admiration. All her lessons end 

In wider views of God's unfathom'd depths. 

Lo ! the unlettered hind, who never knew 
To raise his mind excursive to the heights 
Of abstract contemplation ; as he sits 
On the green hillock by the hedgerow side, 
"What time the insect swarms are murmuring, 
And marks, in silent thought, the broken clouds 
That fringe, with loveliest hues, the evening sky, 
Feels in his soul the hand of nature rouse 
The thrill of gratitude to Him who form/d 
The goodly prospect ; he beholds the God 
Throned in the west ; and his reposing ear 
Hears sounds anprelic in the fitful breeze. 



38 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

That floats through neighbouring copse or fairy brake. 

Or lingers playful on the haunted stream. 

Go with the cottar to his winter fire, 

Where o'er the moors the loud blast whistles shrill, 

And the hoarse ban-dog bays the icy moon : 

Mark with what awe he lists the wild uproar, 

Silent, and big with thought ; and hear him bless 

The God that rides on the tempestuous clouds 

For his snug hearth, and all his little joys. 

Hear him compare his happier lot with his 

Who bends his way across the wintry wolds, 

A poor night- traveller, while the dismal snow 

Beats in his face, and, dubious of his path, 

He stops, and thinks, in every lengthening blast, 

He hears some village mastiff's distant howl, 

And sees, far streaming, some lone cottage light ; 

Then, undeceived, upturns his streaming eyes, 

And clasps his shivering hands ; or, overpower'd, 

Sinks on the frozen ground, weigh'd down with sleep, 

From which the hapless wretch shall never wake. 

Thus the poor rustic warms his heart with praise 

And glowing gratitude, — He turns to bless, 

With honest warmth, his Maker and his God. 

And shall it e'er be said, that a poor hind, 

Nursed in the lap of Ignorance, and bred 

In want and labour, glows with nobler zeal 

To laud his Maker's attributes, while he 

Whom starry science in her cradle rock'd, 

And Castaly enchasten'd with its dews, 

Closes his eyes upon the holy word ; 

And, blind to all but arrogance and pride, 

Dares to declare his infidelity, 

And openly contemn the Lord of Hosts ! 

What is philosophy, if it impart 

Irreverence for the Deity — or teach 

A mortal man to set his judgment up 

Against his Maker's will ? — The Polygar, 

Who kneels to sun or moon, compared with him 

Who thus perverts the talents he enjoys, 

Is the most bless'd of men ! — Oh ! I would walk 



TIME. 39 

A weary journey to the furthest verge 

Of the big world, to kiss that good man's hand, 

Who, in the blaze of wisdom and of art, 

Preserves a lowly mind ; and to his God, 

Feeling the sense of his own littleness, 

Is as a child in meek simplicity ! 

What is the pomp of learning ? the parade 

Of letters and of tongues ? E'en as the mists 

Or the grey morn before the rising sun, 

That pass away and perish. 

Earthly things 
Are but the transient pageants of an hour ; 
And earthly pride is like the passing flower, 
That springs to fall, and blossoms but to die. 
'Tis as the tower erected on a cloud, 
Baseless and silly as the school-boy's dream. 
Ages and epochs that destroy our pride 
And then record its downfal, what are they 
But the poor creatures of man's teeming brain ? 
Hath Heaven its ages ; or doth Heaven preserve 
Its stated eras ? Doth the Omnipotent 
Hear of to morrows or of yesterdays ? 
There is to God nor future nor a past : 
Throned in his might, all times to him are present ; 
He hath no lapse, no past, no time to come ; 
He sees before him one eternal now. 
Time moveth not f— Our being 'tis that moves ; 
And we, swift gliding down life's rapid stream, 
Dream of swift ages and revolving years, 
Ordain'd to chronicle our passing days : 
So the young sailor in the gallant bark, 
Scudding before the wind, beholds the coast 
Receding from his eyes, and thinks the while, 
Struck with amaze, that he is motionless, 
And that the land is sailing. 

Such, alas ! 
Are the illusions of this proteus life ? 
All, all is false. — Through every phasis still 
'Tis shadowy and deceitful. — It assumes 
The semblances of things, and specious shapes ; 



40 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

But the lost traveller might as soon rely 
On the evasive spirit of the marsh, 
Whose lantern beams, and vanishes, and flits, 
O'er bog, and rock, and pit, and hollow way, 
As we on its appearances. 

On earth 
There is not certainty, nor stable hope. 
As well the weary mariner, whose bark 
Is toss'd beyond Cimmerian Bosphorus, 
Where storm and darkness hold their drear domain, 
And sunbeams never penetrate, might trust 
To expectation of serener skies, 
And linger in the very jaws of death, 
Because some peevish cloud were opening, 
Or the loud storm had bated in its rage ; 
As we look forward in this vale of tears 
To permanent delight — from some slight glimpse 
Of shadowy, unsubstantial happiness. 
The good man's hope is laid far, far beyond 
The sway of tempests, or the furious sweep 
Of mortal desolation. — He beholds, 
Unapprehensive, the gigantic stride 
Of rampant ruin, or the unstable waves 
Of dark vicissitude. — Even in death, 
In that dread hour, when, with a giant pang, 
Tearing the tender fibres of the heart, 
The immortal spirit struggles to be free, 
Then, even then, that hope forsakes him not, 
For it exists beyond the narrow verge 
Of the cold sepulchre. — The petty joys 
Of fleeting life indignantly it spurn'd, 
And rested on the bosom of its God. 
This is man's only reasonable hope : 
And 'tis a hope which, cherishd in the breast, 
Shall not be disappointed. — Even He, 
The Holy One — Almighty — who elanced 
The rolling world along its airy way — 
Even he will deign to smile upon the good, 
And welcome him to these celestial seats, 
Where joy and gladness hold their changeless reign. 



TIME. 41 

Thou proud man, look upon yon starry vault, 

Survey the countless gems which richly stud 

The night's imperial chariot ; — Telescopes 

Will show thee myriads more, innumerous 

As the sea-sand ; — Each of those little lamps 

Is the great source of light, the central sun 

Around which some other mighty sisterhood 

Of planets travel, — Every planet stock'd 

With living beings impotent as thee. 

Now, proud man — now, where is thy greatness tied I 

W^hat art thou in the scale of universe ? 

Less, less than nothing ! — Yet of thee the God 

Who built this wondrous frame of worlds is careful, 

As well as of the mendicant who begs 

The leavings of thy table. And shalt thou 

Lift up thy thankless spirit, and contemn 

His heavenly providence ! Deluded fool, 

Even now the thunderbolt is wing'd with death, 

Even now thou totterest on the brink of Hell. 

How insignificant is mortal man, 

Bound to the hasty pinions of an hour ! 

How poor, how trivial in the vast conceit 

Of infinite duration, boundless space ! 

God of the universe— Almighty One — ■ 

Thou who dost walk upon the winged winds, 

Or with the storm, thy rugged charioteer, 

Swift and impetuous as the northern blast, 

Bidest from pole to pole ; — Thou who dost hold 

The forked lightnings in thine awful grasp, 

And reinest in the earthquake, when thy wrath 

Goes down towards erring man, — I would address 

To thee my parting psean ; for of thee, 

Great beyond comprehension, who thyself 

Art time and space, sublime infinitude, 

Of thee has been my song ! —With awe I kneel 

Trembling before the footstool of thy state, 

My God, my Father ! — I will sing to thee 

A hymn of laud, a solemn canticle, 

Ere on the cypress wreath, which overshades 



42 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

The throne of Death, I hang my mournful lyre, 

And give its wild strings to the desert gale. 

Rise, son of Salem, rise, and join the strain, 

Sweep to accordant tones thy tuneful harp, 

And, leaving vain laments, arouse thy soul 

To exultation. Sing hosanna, sing, 

And halleluiah, for the Lord is great, 

And full of mercy ! He has thought of man ; 

Yea, compass'd round with countless worlds, has thought 

Of we poor worms, that batten in the dews 

Of morn, and perish ere the noonday sun. 

Sing to the Lord, for he is merciful ; 

He gave the Nubian lion but to live, 

To rage its hour, and perish ; but on man 

He lavished immortality, and heaven. 

The eagle falls from her aerial tower, 

And mingles with irrevocable dust ; 

But man from death springs joyful, 

Springs up to life and to eternity. 

Oh that, insensate of the favouring boon, 

The great exclusive privilege, bestow'd 

On us unworthy trifles, men should dare 

To treat with slight regard the proffer'd heaven, 

And urge the lenient, but All- Just, to swear 

In wrath, " They shall not enter in my rest !" 

Might I address the supplicative strain 

To thy high footstool, I would pray that thou 

Wouldst pity the deluded wanderers, 

And fold them, ere they perish, in thy flock. 

Yea, I would bid thee pity them, through Him, 

Thy well-beloved, who, upon the cross, 

Bled a dread sacrifice for human sin, 

And paid, with bitter agony, the debt 

Of primitive transgression. 

Oh ! I shrink, 
My very soul doth shrink, when I reflect 
That the time hastens, when, in vengeance clothed, 
Thou shalt come down to stamp the seal of fate 
On erring mortal man. Thy chariot wheels 
Then shall rebound to earth's remotest caves, 



TIME. 43 

And stormy Ocean from his bed shall start 

At the appalling summons. Oh ! how dread 

On the dark eye of miserable man, 

Chasing his sins in secrecy and gloom, 

Will burst the effulgence of the opening heaven ; 

When to the brazen trumpet's deafening roar, 

Thou and thy dazzling cohorts shall descend, 

Proclaiming the fulfilment of the word ! 

The dead shall start astonished from their sleep ! 

The sepulchres shall groan and yield their prey, 

The bellowing floods shall disembogue their charge 

Of human victims. — From the farthest nook 

Of the wide world shall troop the risen souls, 

From him whose bones are bleaching in the waste 

Of polar solitudes, or him whose corpse, 

Whelm'd in the loud Atlantic's vexed tides, 

Is washed on some Caribbean prominence, 

To the lone tenant of some secret cell 

In the Pacific's vast * * * realm, 

Where never plummet's sound was heard to part 

The wilderness of water ; they shall come 

To greet the solemn advent of the Judge. 

Thou first shalt summon the elected saints 
To their apportion'd heaven ; and thy Son, 
At thy right hand shall smile with conscious joy 
On all his past distresses, when for them 
He bore humanity's severest pangs. 
Then shalt thou seize the avenging scimitar, 
And, with a roar as loud and horrible 
As the stern earthquake's monitory voice, 
The wicked shall be driven to their abode, 
Down the unmitigable gulf, to wail 
And gnash their teeth in endless agony. 
* * %■ x 

Pear thou aloft thy standard. — Spirit, rear 
Thy flag on high ! — Invincible, and throned 
In unparticipated might. Behold 
Earth's proudest boast, beneath thy silent sway, 
Sweep headlong to destruction thou the while 



44 HENKY KIRKE WHITES POEMS. 

Unmoved and heedless, thou dost hear the rush 

Of mighty generations, as they pass 

To the broad gulf of ruin, and dost stamp 

Thy signet on them, and they rise no more. 

Who shall contend with Time — unvanquish'd Time, 

The conqueror of conquerors, and lord 

Of desolation ? — Lo ! the shadows fly, 

The hours and days, and years, and centuries, 

They fly, they fly, and nations rise and fall. 

The young are old, the old are in their graves. 

Heard st thou that shout ? It rent the vaulted skies ; 

It was the voice of people, — mighty crowds, — 

Again ! 'tis hushed — Time speaks, and all is hush'd ; 

In the vast multitude now reigns alone 

Unruffled solitude. They all are still ; 

All — yea, the whole — the incalculable mass, 

Still as the ground that clasps their cold remains. 

Rear thou aloft thy standard. — Spirit, rear 

Thy flag on high ; and glory in thy strength 

But do thou know, the season yet shall come 

When from its base thine adamantine throne 

Shall tumble ; when thine arm shall cease to strike, 

Thy voice forget its petrifying power ; 

Wben saints shall shout, and Time shall be no more. 

Yea, He doth come — the mighty Champion comes, 

Whose potent spear shall give thee thy death -wound, 

Shall crush the conqueror of conquerors, 

And desolate stern desolation's lord. 

Lo ! where he cometh ! the Messiah comes ! 

The King ! the Comforter ! the Christ ! — He comes 

To burst the bonds of death, and overturn 

The power of Time. — Hark ! the trumpet's blast 

Rings o'er the heavens ! — They rise, the myriads rise — 

Even from their graves they spring, and burst the chains 

Of torpor. — He has ransomed them. * * 

Forgotten generations live again, 

Assume the bodily shapes they own'd of old, 

Beyond the flood : — the righteous of their times 



TIME. 45 

Embrace and weep, they weep the tears of joy. 

The sainted mother wakes, and, in her lap, 

Clasps her dear babe, the partner of her grave, 

And heritor with, her of heaven, — a flower 

Wash'd by the blood of Jesus from the stain 

Of native guilt, even in its early bud. 

And hark ! those strains, how solemnly serene 

They fall, as from the skies — at distance fall — 

Again more loucl ; the halleluiahs swell ; 

The newly-risen catch the joyful sound ; 

They glow, they burn : and now, with one accord, 

Bursts forth sublime from every mouth the song 

Of praise to God on high, and to the Lamb 

Who bled for mortals. 

Yet there is peace for man. — Yea, there is peace, 

Even in this noisy, this unsettled scene ; 

When from the crowd, and from the city far, 

Haply he may be set (in his late walk 

O'ertaken with deep thought) beneath the boughs 

Of honeysuckle, when the sun is gone, 

And with fix'd eye, and wistful, he surveys 

The solemn shadows of the heavens sail, 

And thinks the season yet shall come when Time 

Will waft him to repose, to deep repose, 

Far from the unquietness of life — from noise 

And tumult far — beyond the flying clouds, 

Beyond the stars, and all this passing scene, 

Where change shall cease, and Time shall be no more. 
# # # # 



THE GHRISTIAD. 



A DIVINE POEM. 



[This was the work which the Author had most at heart. His 
riper judgment would probably have perceived that the subject 
was ill chosen. What is said so well in the Censura Literaria of 
all scriptural subjects for narrative poetry, applies peculiarly to 
this. " Anything taken from it leaves the story imperfect ; 
anything added to it disgusts, and almost shocks us as impious. 
As Omar said of the Alexandrian Library, we may say of such 
writings, if they contain only what is in the scriptures they are 
superfluous ; if what is not in them they are false." — It may be 
added, that the mixture of mythology makes truth itself appear 
fabulous. 

There is great power in the execution of this fragment. — In 
editing these remains, 1 have, with that decorum which it is to 
be wished all editors would observe, abstained from informing 
the reader what he is to admire and what he is not ; but I can- 
not refrain from saying, that the la»t two stanzas greatly af- 
fected me, when I discovered them written on the leaf of a dif- 
ferent book, and apparently long after the first canto ,• and 
greatly shall I be mistaken if they do not aftect the reader also.] 



THE CHRISTIAN 



Book L 



I sing the Cross ! — Ye white-robed angel choirs, 
Who know the chords of harmony to sweep ; 

Ye who o'er holy David's varying wires 

Were wont of old your hovering watch to keep, 
Oh, now descend ; and with your harpings deep, 

Pouring sublime the full sympbonious stream 
Of music, — such as soothes the saint's last sleep, 

Awake my slumbering spirit from its dream, 
And teach me how to exalt the high mysterious theme. 



Mourn ! Salem, mourn ! low lies thine humbled state. 

Thy glittering fanes are levelled with the ground ! 
Fallen is thy pride ! — Thine halls are desolate ! 

Where erst was heard the timbrel's sprightly sound, 

And frolic pleasures tripp'd the nightly round, 
There breeds the wild fox lonely, — and aghast 

Stands the mute pilgrim at the void profound, 

Unbroke by noise, save when the hurrying blast 

Sighs, like a spirit, deep along the cheerless waste. 

in. 

It is for this, proud Solyma ! thy towers 

Lie crumbling in the dust ; for this forlorn 
Thy genius wails along thy desert bowers, 



48 HENRY KIRKE WHITENS POEMS. 

While stern Destruction laughs, as if in scorn, 
That thou didst dare insult God's eldest born ; 

And, with most bitter persecuting ire, 

Pursued his footsteps till the last day-dawn 

Rose on his fortunes —and thou saw'st the fire 
That came to light the world in one great flash expire. 

IV. 

Oh ! for a pencil dipt in living light, 

To paint the agonies that Jesus bore ! 
Oh ! for the long lost harp of Jesse's might, 

To hymn the Saviour's praise from shore to shore ; 

While seraph hosts the lofty paean pour, 
And heaven enraptur'd lists the loud acclaim ! 

May a frail mortal dare the theme explore ? 
May he to human ears his weak song frame ? 
Oh ! may he dare to sing Messiah's glorious name ? 



Spirits of pity ! mild Crusaders come ! 

Buoyant on clouds around your minstrel float ; 
And give him eloquence who else were dumb, 

And raise to feeling and to fire his note ! 

And thou, Urania ! who dost still devote 
Thy nights and days to God's eternal shrine, 

Whose mild eyes 'lumined what Isaiah wrote, 
Throw o'er thy bard that solemn stole of thine, 
And clothe him for the fight with energy divine. 



When from the temple's lofty summit prone, 

Satan o'ercome, fell down ; and 'throned there, 
The Son of God confest, in splendour shone : 
Swift as the glancing sunbeam cuts the air, 
Mad with defeat, and yelling his despair, 

* * * * 

Fled the stern king of Hell — and with the glare 
Of gilding meteors, ominous and red, 
Shot athwart the clouds that gather'd round his head. 



THE CHRISTIAD. 49 



Right o'er the Euxine, and that gulph which late 

The rude Massagetae adored — he bent 
His northering course, — while round, in dusty state, 

The assembling fiends their summon VI troops aug- 
ment ; 

Clothed in dark mists, upon their way they went, 
While as they pass'd to regions more severe, 

The Lapland sorcerer swell'd, with loud lament. 
The solitary gale, and, filled with fear, 
The howling dogs bespoke unholy spirits near. 



Where the North Pole, in moody solitude, 

Spreads her huge tracks and frozen wastes around ; 

There ice-rocks piled aloft, in order rude, 
Form a gigantic hall ; w\here never sound 
Startled dull silence' ear, save when profound, 

The smoke-frost mutter'd : there drear Cold for aye 
'Thrones him, — and fixed on his primaeval mound, 

Ruin, the giant, sits ; while stern Dismay 
Stalks like some woe-struck man along the desert way. 



In that drear spot, grim Desolation's lair, 
No sweet remain of life encheers the sight : 

The dancing heart's blood in an instant there 

Would freeze to marble. — Mingling day and night 
(Sweet interchange which makes our labours light) 

Are there unknown ; while in the summer skies 
The sun rolls ceaseless round his heavenly height, 

Nor ever sets till from the scene he flies, 
And leaves the long bleak night of half the year to rise. 



'Twas there, yet shuddering from the burning lake, 
Satan had fix'd their next consistory ; 

When parting last he fondly hoped to shake 
Messiah's constancy, — and thus to free 



50 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 

The powers of darkness from the dread decree 
Of bondage, brought by him, and circumvent 

The unerring ways of Him whose eye can see 
The tomb of Time, and, in its embryo pent, 
Discern the colours clear of every dark event. 



Here the stern monarch stayed his rapid flight, 

And his thick hosts, as with a jetty pall, 
Hovering obscured the north star's peaceful light, 

Waiting on wing their haughty chieftain's call. 

He, meanwhile, downward, with a sullen fall, 
Dropt on the echoing ice. Instant the sound 

Of their broad vans was hush'd, and o'er the hall, 
Vast and obscure, the gloomy cohorts bound, 
Till, wedged in ranks, the seat of Satan they surround. 



High on a solium of the solid wave, 

Prankt with rude shapes by the fantastic frost, 
He stood in silence ; — now keen thoughts engrave 

Dark figures on his front ; and, tempest tost, 

He fears to say that every hope is lost. 
Meanwhile the multitude as death are mute : 

So ere the tempest on Malacca's coast, 
Sweet Quiet, gently touching her soft lute, 
Sings to the whispering waves the prelude to dispute. 



At length collected, o'er the dark Divan 

The arch fiend glanced, as by the Boreal blaze 

Their downcast brows were seen, — and thus began 
His fierce harangue : — " Spirits ! our better days 
Are now elasped ; Moloch and Belial's praise 

Shall sound no more in groves by myriads trod. 

Lo ! the light breaks ! — The astonished nations gaze! 

For us is lifted high the avenging rod ! 
For, spirits, this is He — this is the Son of God ! 



THE CHKISTIAD. 51 



" What then ! — shall Satan's spirit crouch to fear ? 
Shall he who shook the pillars of God's reign, 
Drop from his unnerved arm the hostile spear ! 
Madness ! The very thought would make me fain 
To tear the spanglets from yon gaudy plain, 
And hurl them at their Maker ! — Fixed as fate 

I am his Foe ! Yea, though his pride should deign 
To soothe mine ire with half his regal state, 
Still would I burn with fixt unalterable hate. 

xv. 

" Now hear the issue of my curst emprize, 
When from our last synod I took flight, 
Buoy'd with false bopes, in some deep-laid disguise, 
To tempt this vaunted Holy One to write 
His own self-condemnation ; in the plight 
Of aged man in the lone wilderness, 

Gathering a few stray sticks, I met his sight ; 
And leaning on my staff seem'd much to guess 
What cause could mortal bring to that forlorn recess. 



" Then thus in homely guise I featly framed 

My lowly speech : — ' Good Sir, what leads this way 
Your wandering steps ? must hapless chance be blamed 
That you so far from haunt of mortals stray ; 
Here have I dwelt for many a lingering day, 
No trace of man have seen. — But how ! methought 

Thou wert the youth on whom God's holy ray 
I saw descend in Jordan, when John taught 
That he to fallen man the saving promise brought." 

XVII. 

" ' I am that man/ said Jesus ; " I am he. 

But truce to questions.— Canst thou point my feet 
To some low hut, if haply such there be 
In this wild labyrinth, where I may meet 



52 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

With homely greeting, and may sit and eat : 
For forty daj^s I have tarried fasting here, 

Hid in the dark glens of this lone retreat, 
And now I hunger ; and my fainting ear 
Longs much to greet the sound of fountains gushing near.' 



" Then thus I answer' d wily : — ' If, indeed, 

Son of our God thou be'st, what need to seek 
For food from men ? — Lo ! on these flint stones feed, 
Bid them be bread ! Open thy lips and speak, 
And living rills from yon parch'd rock will break.' 
Instant as I had spoke, his piercing eye 

Fix'd on my face ; the blood forsook my cheek, 
I could not bear his gaze ; my mask slipped by ; 
1 would have shurm'd his look, but had not power to fly. 

XIX. 

il Then he rebuked me with the holy Word — 
Accursed sounds ! but now my native pride 
Returned, and by no foolish qualm deterr'd, 
I bore him from the mountain's woody side, 
Up to the summit, where extending wide 
Kingdoms and cities, palaces and fanes, 

Bright sparkling in the sunbeams, were descried, 
And in gay dance, amid luxuriant plains, 
Tripp'd to the jocund reed the emasculated swains. 

xx. 

" ' Behold/ I cried, * these glories ! scenes divine ! 
Thou whose sad prime in pining want decays, 
And these, O rapture ! these shall all be thine, 
If thou wilt give to me, not God, the praise. 
Hath he not given to indigence thy days ? 
Is not thy portion peril here and pain ? 

Oh ! leave his temples, shun his wounding ways ! 
Seize the tiara ! these mean weeds disdain, 
Kneel, kneel, thou man of woe, and peace and splendour 
gain.' 



THE CHEISTIAD. 53 



XXI. 

u ' Is it not written/ sternly he replied, 

' Tempt not the Lord thy God ?' Frowning he spate, 
And instant sounds, as of the ocean tide, 

Rose, and the whirlwind from its prison brake, 
And caught me up aloft, till in one flake 
The sidelong volley met my swift career, 

And smote me earthward. — Jove himself might 
quake 
At such a fall ; my sinews cracked, and near, 
Obscure and dizzy sounds seemed ringing in mine ear. 



a Senseless and stunn'd I lay ; till casting round 
My half unconscious gaze, I saw the foe 
Borne on a car of roses to the ground, 
By volant angels ; and, as sailing slow, 
He sunk the hoary battlement below, 
While on the tall spire slept the slant sunbeam, 
Sweet on the en amour' d zephyr was the flow 
Of heavenly instruments. Such strains oft seem, 
On starlight hill, to soothe the Syrian shepherd's dream. 



" I saw blaspheming. Hate renew'd my strength ; 
I smote the ether with my iron wing, 
And left the accursed scene. — Arrived at length 
In these drear halls, to ye, my peers ! I bring 
The tidings of defeat. Hell's haughty king 
Thrice vanquish'd, baffled, smitten, and dismay'd ! 

shame ! Is this the hero who could fling 
Defiance at his Maker, while array 'd, 
High o'er the walls of light, rebellion's banners play'd ! 



' Yet shall not Heaven's bland minions triumph long ; 
Hell yet shall have revenge. O glorious sight, 
Prophetic visions on my fancy throng : 
I see wild Agony's lean finger write 



54 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Sad figures on his forehead ! — Keenly bright 
Revenge's flambeau burns ! Now in his eyes 

Stand the hot tears, — immantled in the night, 
Lo ! he retires to mourn ! — I hear his cries, — 
He faints— he falls — and lo ! — 'tis true, ye powers, he 
dies." 

XXV. 

Thus spake the chieftain, — and, as if he view'd 
The scene he pictured, with his foot advanced, 
And chest inflated, motionless he stood, 

While under his uplifted shield he glanced, 
With straining eyeball fix'd, like one entranced, 
On viewless air ; — thither the dark platoon 

Gazed wondering, nothing seen, save when there 
danced 
The northern flash, or fiend, late fled from noon, 
Darken'd the disk of the descending moon. 

XXVI. 

Silence crept stilly through the ranks. — The breeze 
Spake most distinctly. As the sailor stands, 

When all the midnight gasping from the seas 
Break boding sobs, and to his sight expands 
High on the shrouds the spirit that commands 

The ocean-farer's life ; so stiff — so sear 

Stood each dark power ; — while through their nu- 
merous bands 

Beat not one heart ; and mingling hope and fear 
Now told them all was lost, now bade revenge appear. 



One there was there, whose loud defying tongue 
Nor hope nor fear had silenced, but the swell 

Of over-boiling malice. Utterance long 

His passion mock'd, and long he strove to tell 
His labouring ire ; still syllable none fell 

From his pale quivering lip, but died away 
For very fury ; from each hollow cell 

Half sprang his eyes, that cast a flamy ray, 
And ****** * 



THE CHRISTIAN. 



u This comes." at length burst from the furious chief, 
" This comes of distant counsels ! Here behold 
The fruits of wily cunning ! the relief 
Which coward policy would fain unfold, 
To soothe the powers that warr'd with Heaven of 
oldl 
O wise ! O potent ! sagacious snare ! 

And lo ! our prince — the mighty and the bold. 
There stands he, spell-struck, gaping at the air, 
TVhile Heaven subverts his reign, and plants her stan- 
dard there/' 

XZIX. 

Here, as, recovered, Satan fixed his eye 

Full on the speaker ; dark it was and stern ; 

He wrapt his black vest round him gloomily, 

And stood like one whom weightiest thoughts con- 
cern. 
Him Moloch marked, and strove again to turn 

His soul to rage. ' ; Behold, behold/'' he cried, 
" The lord of Hell, who bade these legions spurn 
Almighty rule — behold, he lays aside 
The spear of just rerenge, and shrinks, by man defied." 



Thus ended Moloch, and his burning tongue 

Hung quivering, as if [mad] to quench its heat 
In slaughter. So, his native wilds among, 

The famish'd tiger pants, when near his seat. 

Press'd on the sands, he marks the traveller's feet. 
Instant low murmurs rose, and many a sword 

Had from its scabbard sprung ; but toward the seat 
Of the arch-fiend all turn'd with one accord. 
As loud he thus harangued the sanguinary horde. 



56 HENRY KIKKE WHITE S POEMS. 

" Ye powers of Hell, I am no coward. I proved this 
of old : Who led your forces against the armies of 
Jehovah ? Who coped with Ithuriel, and the thunders of 
the Almighty ? Who, when stunned and confused ye 
lay on the burning lake, who first awoke, and collected 
your scattered powers ? Lastly, who led you across the 
unfathomable abyss to this delightful world, and estab- 
lished that reign here which now totters to its base. 
How, therefore, dares yon treacherous fiend to cast a stain 
on Satan's bravery ? he who preys only on the defence- 
less — who sucks the blood of infants, and delights only in 
acts of ignoble cruelty and unequal contention. Away 
with the boaster who never joins in action, but, like a 
cormorant, hovers over the field, to feed upon the 
wounded, and overwhelm the dying. True bravery is 
as remote from rashness as from hesitation ; let us 
counsel coollv, but let us execute our counselled purposes 
determinately. In power we have learnt, by that experi- 
ment which lost us Heaven, that we are inferior to the 
Thunder-bearer. In subtlety — in subtlety alone we are 
his equals. Open war is impossible. 



" Thus we shall pierce our conqueror through the race 
Which as himself he loves ; thus if we fall, 
We fall not with the anguish, the disgrace 
Of falling unrevenged. The stirring call 
Of vengeance rings within me ! Warriors all, 
The word is Vengeance, and the spur Despair. 

Away with coward wiles : — Death's coal-black pall 
Be now our standard ! — Be our torch the glare 
Of cities fired ! our fifes, the shrieks that fill the air !" 



Him answering rose Mecasphim, who of old, 
Far in the silence of Chaldea's groves, 

Was worshipped, God of Fire, with charms untold 
And mystery. His wandering spirit roves, 
Now vainly searching for the flame it loves ; 






THE CHRISTIAD. 57 



And sits and mourns, like some white-robed sire, 

Where stood his temple, and where fragrant cloves 
And cinnamon upheaped the sacred pyre, 
And nightly magi watch'd the everlasting fire. 

He waved his robe of flame, he cross'd his breast, 
And sighing — his papyrus scarf survey'd, 

Woven with dark characters ; then thus address'd 
The troubled council. 



Thus far have I pursued ray solemn theme 

With self-rewarding toil; — thus far have sung 
Of godlike deeds, far loftier than beseem 

The lyre which I in early days have strung ; 

And now my spirit's faint, and I have hung 
The shell, that solaced me in saddest hour, 

On the dark cypress ; and the strings which rung 
With Jesus' praise, their harpings now are o'er, 
Or, when the breeze comes by, moan and are heard no 
more. 

And must the harp of Judah sleep again ? 

Shall I no more reanimate the lay ? 
Oh ! thou who visit est the sons of men, 

Thou who dost listen when the humble pray, 

One little space prolong my mournful day ! 
One little lapse suspend thy last decree ! 

I am a youthful traveller in the way, 
And this slight boon would consecrate to thee, 
Ere I with death shake hands, and smile that I am free. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



ON BEING CONFINED TO SCHOOL ONE PLEASANT 
MORNING IN SPRING. 

{Written at the Age of Thirteen.) 

The morning sun's enchanting rajs 
Now call forth every songster's praise ; 
Now the lark, with upward flight, 
Gaily ushers in the light ; 
While wildly warbling from each tree, 
The birds sing songs to Liberty. 

But for me no songster sings, 
For me no joyous lark upsprings 
For I, confin'd in gloomy school, 
Must own the pedant's iron rule, 
And far from sylvan shades and bowers. 
In durance vile must pass the hours ; 
There con the scholiast's dreary lines, 
Where no bright ray of genius shines, 
And close to rugged learning cling, 
While laughs around the jocund spring. 

How gladly would my soul forego 
All that arithmeticians know, 
Or stiff grammarians quaintly teach, 
Or all that industry can reach, 
To taste each morn of all the joys 
That with the laughing sun arise ; 



MISCELLANEOUS. 59 

And unconstrain'd to rove along 
The bushy brakes and glens among ; 
And woo the muse's gentle power 
In unfrequented rural bower : 
But ah ! such heaven-approaching joys 
"Will never greet my longing eyes 
Still will they cheat in vision fine, 
Yet never but in fancy shine. 

Oh, that I were the little wren 
That shrilly chirps from yonder glen ! 
Oh, far away I then would rove, 
To some secluded bushy grove ; 
There hop and sing with careless glee, 
Hop and sing at liberty ; 
And till death should stop my lays, 
Far from men would spend my days. 



ADDRESS TO CONTEMPLATION. 

(Written at the Age of Fourteen.) 

Thee do I own, the prompter of my joys, 
The soother of my cares, inspiring peace ; 
And I will ne'er forsake thee. Men may rave, 
And blame and censure me, that I don't tie 
My ev'ry thought down to the desk, and spend 
The morning of my life in adding figures 
With accurate monotony, that so 
The good things of the world may be my lot, 
And I might taste the blessedness of wealth : 
But, oh ! I was not made for money getting ; 
For me no much-respected plum awaits,. 
Nor civic honour, envied. For as still 
I tried to cast with school dexterity 
The interesting sums, my vagrant thoughts 
Would quick revert to many a woodland haunt, 
Which fond remembrance cherish'd, and the pen 



60 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Dropt from my senseless fingers as I pictured, 

In my mind's eye, how on the shores of Trent 

I ere while wander 1 d with my early friends 

In social intercourse. And then I'd think 

How contrary pursuits had thrown us wide, 

One from the other, scatter'd o'er the globe ; 

They were set down with sober steadiness, 

Each to his occupation. I alone, 

A wayward youth, misled by Fancy's vagaries, 

Hemain'd unsettled, insecure, and veering 

With ev'ry wind to ev'ry point o' th' compass. 

Yes, in the counting-house I could indulge 

In fits of close abstraction ; yea, amid 

The busy bustling crowds could meditate, 

And send my thoughts ten thousand leagues away 

Beyond the Atlantic, resting on my friend. 

Aye, Contemplation, ev'n in earliest youth 

I woo'd thy heav'nly influence ! I would walk 

A weary way when all my toils were done, 

To lay myself at night in some lone wood, 

And hear the sweet song of the nightingale. 

Oh, those were times of happiness, and still 

To memory doubly dear ; for growing years 

Had not then taught me man was made to mourn ; 

And a short hour of solitary pleasure, 

Stolen from sleep, was ample recompense 

For all the hateful bustles of the day. 

My op'ning mind was ductile then, and plastic, 

And soon the marks of care were w 7 orn away, 

While I was sway'd by every novel impulse, 

Yielding to all the fancies of the hour. 

But it has now assum'd its character ; 

Mark'd by strong lineaments, its haughty tone, 

Like the firm oak, would sooner break than bend. 

Yet still, oh, Contemplation ! I do love 

To indulge thy solemn musings ; still the same 

With thee alone I know to melt and weep, 

In thee alone delighting. Why along 

The dusky track of commerce should I toil, 

When with an easy competence content, 



MISCELLANEOUS. (Ji 



I can alone be happy ; where with thee 
I may enjoy the loveliness of nature, 
And loose the wings of Fancy ? Thus alone 
Can I partake of happiness on earth ; 
And to be happy here is man's chief end, 
For to be happy he must needs be good. 



MUSIC. 



(Written between the Ages of Fourteen and Fifteen, with a few 
subsequent verbal alterations.) 

Music, all-powerful o'er the human mind, 

Can still each mental storm, each tumult calm, 

Soothe anxious care on sleepless couch reclined, 
And e'en fierce anger's furious rage disarm. 

At her command the various passions lie ; 

She stirs to battle, or she lulls to peace, 
Melts the charm'd soul to thrilling ecstasy, 

And bids the jarring world's harsh clangour cease. 

Her martial sounds can fainting troops inspire 
With strength unwonted, and enthusiasm raise, 

Infuse new ardour, and with youthful fire 

Urge on the warrior grey with length of days. 

Far better she when with her soothing lyre 

She charms the falchion from the savage grasp, 

And melting into pity vengeful ire, 

Looses the bloody breastplate's iron clasp. 

With her in pensive mood I long to roam, 

At midnight's hour, or evening's calm decline, 

And thoughtful o'er the falling streamlet's foam, 
In calm seclusion's hermit walks recline. 



62 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 

Whilst mellow sounds from distant copes arise, 
Of softest flute or reeds harmonic joined, 

With rapture thrill'd each worldly passion dies, 
And pleased attention claims the passive mind. 

Soft through the dell the dying strains retire, 
Then burst majestic in the varied swell ; 

Now breathe melodious as the Grecian lyre, 
Or on the ear in sinking cadence dwell. 

Romantic sounds ! such is the bliss ye give, 

That heaven's bright scenes seem bursting on the 
soul, 

With joy I'd yield each sensual wish to live 
For ever neath your undefiled control. 

Oh, surely melody from heaven was sent, 

To cheer the soul when tired with human strife, 

To soothe the wayward heart by sorrow rent, 
And soften down the rugged road of life. 



MY OWN CHARACTER. 

Addressed (during illnes?) to a Lady, 

Dear Fanny, I mean, now I'm laid on the shelf, 

To give you a sketch — aye, a sketch of myself. 

Tis a pitiful subject, I frankly confess, 

And one it would puzzle a painter to dress ; 

But however, here goes, and as sure as a gun, 

I'll tell all my faults like a penitent nun ; 

For I know, for my Fanny, before I address her, 

She wont be a cynical father confessor. 

Come, come, 'twill not do ! put that curling brow down ; 

You can't, for the soul of you, learn how to frown. 

Well, first, I premise, it's my honest conviction, 

That my breast is a chaos of all contradiction ; 



MISCELLANEOUS. 63 

Religious — Deistic — now loyal and warm ; 
Then a dagger-drawn Democrat hot for reform ; 
This moment a fop — that, sententious as Titus ; 
Democritus now, and anon Heraclitus ; 
Now laughing and pleas'd, like a child with a rattle ; 
Then vexed to the soul with impertinent tattle ; 
Now moody and sad, now unthinking and gay ; 
To all points of the compass I veer in a day. 

I'm proud and disdainful to Fortune's gay child, 
But to poverty's offspring submissive and mild ; 
As rude as a boor, and as rough in dispute ; 
Then as for politeness — oh ! dear — I'm a brute ! 
I show no respect where I never can feel it ; 
And as for contempt, take no pains to conceal it. 
And so in the suite, by these laudable ends, 
I've a great many foes, and a very few friends. 

And yet, my dear Fanny, there are who can feel 
That this proud heart of mine is not fashioned of steel. 
It can love (can it not ?) — it can hate, I am sure ; 
And it's friendly enough, though in friends it be poor. 
For itself though it bleed not, for others it bleeds ; 
If it have not ripe virtues, I'm sure it's the seeds ; 
And though far from faultless, or even so-so, 
I think it may pass as our worldly things go. 

Well, I've told you my frailties without any gloss ; 

Then as to my virtues, I'm quite at a loss ! 

I think I'm devout, and yet I can't say, 

But in process of time I may get the wrong way. 

I'm a general lover, if that's commendation, 

And yet can't withstand you Jcnoiv ivhose fascination. 

But I find that amidst all my tricks and devices, 

In fishing for virtues, I'm pulling up vices ; 

So as for the good, why, if I possess it, 

I am not yet learned enough to express it. 

You yourself must examine the lovelier side, 
And after your every art you have tried, 



G4 HENRY KTRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Whatever my faults I may venture to say, 
Hypocrisy never will come in your way. 
I am upright, I hope ; I am downright, I'm clear ! 
And I think my worst foe must allow I'm sincere ; 
And if ever sincerity glow'd in my breast, 
Tis now when I swear ** 



ELEGY. 

Occasioned by the Death of Mr Gill, who was drowned in the river 
Trent, while bathing, 9th August 1802. 

I. 
He sunk — th' impetuous river roll'd along, 

The sullen wave betray'd his dying breath ;* 
And rising sad the rustling sedge among, 

The gale of evening touch'd the cords of death. 



Nymph of the Trent ! why didst not thou appear 
To snatch the victim from thy felon wave ? 

Alas ! too late thou cam'st to embalm his bier, 
And deck with water flags his early grave. 

in. 

Triumphant, riding o'er its tumid prey 

Rolls the red stream in sanguinary pride ; 

While anxious crowds, in vain, expectant stay, 
And ask the swoln corse from the murdering tide. 



The stealing tear drop stagnates in the eye, 

The sudden sigh by friendship's bosom proved, 

I mark them rise — I mark the gen'ral sigh : 
Unhappy youth ! and wert thou so beloved ? 

* This line may appear somewhat obscure. It alludes to the last 
bubbling of the water, after a person has sunk, caused by the final 
expiration of the air from the lungs; inhalation, by introducing the 
water, produces suffocation. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



65 



On thee, as lone I trace the Trent's green brink, 
When the dim twilight slumbers on the glade ; 

On thee my thoughts shall dwell, nor Fancy shrink 
To hold mysterious converse with thy shade. 



Of thee, as early I, with vagrant feet, 

Hail the gray- sandal' d morn in Col wick's vale, 

Of thee my sylvan reed shall warble sweet, 
And wild wood echoes shall repeat the tale. 



And oh ! ye nymphs of Paeon ! who preside 
O'er running rill and salutary stream, 

Guard ye in future well the Halcyon tide 

From the rude Death-shriek and the dying scream. 



COMMENCEMENT OF A POEM ON DESPAIR. 

Some to Aonian lyres of silver sound 

With winning elegance attune their song, 

Form'd to sink lightly on the soothed sense, 

And charm the soul with softest harmony ; 

'Tis then that hope with sanguine eye is seen 

Roving through Fancy's gay futurity ; 

Her heart light dancing to the sounds of pleasure, 

Pleasure of days to come. — Memory too then 

Comes with her sister, Melancholy, sad, 

Pensively musing on the scenes of youth, 

Scenes never to return.* 

Such subjects merit poets used to raise 

The Attic verse harmonious ; but for me 

A dreadlier theme demands my backward hand, 

And bids me strike the strings of dissonance 

* Alluding to the two pleasing poems, the " Pleasures of Hope" and 
of " Memory." 



66 HEKRY KIRKE WHITES POEMS. 

With frantic energy. 

'Tis wan Despair I sing ; if sing I can, 

Of him before whose blast the voice of song, 

And mirth, and hope, and happiness, all fly, 

Nor ever dare return. His notes are heard 

At noon of night, where, on the coast of blood, 

The lacerated son of Angola 

Howls forth his suff 'rings to the moaning wind ; 

And when the awful silence of the night 

Strikes the chill death -dew to the murd'rer's heart. 

He speaks in every conscience-prompted word 

Half utter'd, half suppress'd — 

'Tis him I sing — Despair — terrific name, 

Striking unsteadily the tremulous chord 

Of timorous terror — discord in the sound : 

For to a theme revolting as is this, 

Dare not I woo the maids of harmony, 

Who love to sit, and catch the soothing sound 

Of lyre -ZEolian, or the martial bugle, 

Calling the hero to the field of glory, 

And firing him with deeds of high emprise. 

And warlike triumph : but from scenes like mine 

Shrink they affirighted, and detest the bard 

Who dares to sound the hollow tones of horror. 

Hence, then, soft maids, 
And woo the silken zephyr in the bowers 
By Heliconia's sleep inviting stream : 
For aid like yours I seek not ; 'tis for powers 
Of darker hue to inspire a verse like mine ; 
'Tis work for wizards, sorcerers, and fiends. 

Hither, ye furious imps of Acheron, 
Nurslings of hell and beings shunning light, 
And all the myriads of the burning concave ; 
Souls of the damned : — Hither, oh ! come and join 
Th' infernal chorus. 'Tis Despair I sing ! 
He, whose sole tooth inflicts a deadlier pang 
Than all your tortures join'd. Sing, sing Despair ! 
Repeat the sound and celebrate his power ; 
Unite shouts, screams, and agonizing shrieks, 



MISCELLANEOUS. 67 



Till the loud psean ring through hell's high vault, 

And the remotest spirits of the deep 

Leap from the lake, and join the dreadful song. 



THANATOS. 

On ! who would cherish life, 
And cling unto this heavy clog of clay — - 

Love this rude world of strife, 
Where glooms and tempests cloud the fairest day ! 
And where, 'neath outward smiles 

Concealed, the snake lies feeding on its prey, 

Where pitfalls lie in every flowery way, 

And syrens lure the wanderer to their wiles ! 
Hateful it is to me, 
Its riotous railings and revengeful strife ; 

I'm tired with all its screams and brutal shouts 
Dinning the ear : — away — away with life ! 

And welcome, oh ! thou silent maid, 

Who in some foggy vault art laid, 

Where never daylight's dazzling ray 

Comes to disturb thy dismal sway ; 

And there amid unwholesome damps dost sleep, 

In such forgetful slumbers deep, 

That all thy senses stupified, 

Are to marble petrified. 

Sleepy Death, I welcome thee ! 

Sweet are thy calms to misery. 

Poppies I will ask no more, 

Nor the fatal hellebore ; 

Death is the best, the only cure, 

His are slumbers ever sure. 

Lay me in the Gothic tomb, 

In whose solemn fretted gloom 

I may lie in mouldering state, 

With all the grandeur of the great ; 

Over me, magnificent, 

Carved a stately monument ; 



68 HENltY KIEKE WHITES POEMS. 

Then thereon my statue lay, 

With hands in attitude to pray, 

And angels serve to hold my head, 

Weeping o'er the father dead. 

Duly too at close of day. 

Let the pealing organ play ; 

And while the harmonious thunders roll, 

Chant a vesper to my soul : 

Thus how sweet my sleep will be, 

Shut out from thoughtful misery ! 



ATHANATOS. 

Away with Death — away 
With all her sluggish sleeps and chilling damps 

Impervious to the day, 
Where nature sinks into inanity. 
How can the soul desire 
Such hateful nothingness to crave, 
And yield with joy the vital fire 
To moulder in the grave ! 

Yet mortal life is sad, 
Eternal storms molest its sullen sky ; 

And sorrows ever rife 
Drain the sacred fountain dry — ■ 
Away with mortal life : 
But, hail the calm reality, 
The seraph Immortality, 
Hail the heavenly bowers of peace, 
Where all the storms of passion cease. 
Wild life's dismaying struggle o'er, 
The wearied spirit weeps no more ; 
But wears the eternal smile of joy, 
Tasting bliss without alloy. 
Welcome, welcome, happy bowers, 
Where no passing tempest lowers ; 
But the azure heavens display 
The everlasting smile of day ; 



MISCELLANEOUS. 69 



Where the choral seraph choir, 

Strike to praise the harmonious lyre ; 

And the spirit sinks to ease, 

Lull'd by distant symphonies. 

Oh ! to think of meeting there 

The friends whose graves received our tear, 

The daughter loved, the wife adored, 

To our widow'd arms restored ; 

And all the joys which death did sever 

Given to us again for ever ! 

Who would cling to wretched life, 

And hug the poison'd thorn of strife — 

Who would not long from earth to fly 

A sluggish, senseless lump to lie, 

When the glorious prospect lies 

Full before his raptured eyes ? 



MY STUDY. 

A Letter in Hudibrastic Verse. 

You bid me, Ned, describe the place 
Where I, one of the rhyming race, 
Pursue my studies con amove, 
And wanton with the muse in glory. 

Well, figure to your senses straight, 

Upon the house's topmost height, 

A closet, just six feet by four, 

W T ith white washed walls, and plaster floor, 

So noble large, 'tis scarcely able 

To admit a single chair and table : 

And (lest the muse should die with cold) 

A smoky grate my fire to hold : 

So wondrous small, 'twould much it pose 

To melt the ice-drop on one's nose ; 

And yet so big, it covers o'er 

Full half the spacious room and more. 



70 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

A window vainly stuffed about 

To keep November's breezes out, 

So crazy, that the panes proclaim 

That soon they mean to leave the frame. 

My furniture, I sure may crack — 

A broken chair without a back ; 

A table, wanting just two legs, 

One end sustained by wooden pegs ; 

A desk — of that I am not fervent, 

The work of, sir, your humble servant, 

(Who, though I say't, am no such fumbler ;) 

A glass decanter and a tumbler, 

From which my night-parch'd throat I lave, 

Luxurious, with the limpid wave ; 

A chest of drawers, in antique sections, 

And sawed by me in all directions ; 

So small, sir, that whoever views 'em, 

Swears nothing but a doll could use 'em. 

To these, if you will add a store 

Of oddities upon the floor, 

A pair of globes, electric balls, 

Scales, quadrants, prisms, and cobbler's awls, 

And crowds of books on rotten shelves, 

Octavos, folios, quartos, twelves ; 

I think, dear Ned, you curious dog, 

You'll have my earthly catalogue. 

But stay, — I nearly had left out 

My bellows, destitute of snout ; 

And on the walls, — Good Heavens ! why there 

I've such a load of precious ware, 

Of heads, and coins, and silver medals, 

And organ works, and broken pedals, 

(For I was once a-building music, 

Though soon of that employ I grew sick), 

And skeletons of laws which shoot 

All out of one primordial root ; 

That you, at such a sight, would swear, 

Confusion's self had settled there. 

There stands, just by a broken sphere, 



MISCELLANEOUS. 71 

A Cicero without an ear, 

A neck, on which by logic good 

I know for sure a head once stood ; 

But who it was the able master 

Had moulded in the mimic plaster, 

Whether 'twas Pope, or Coke, or Burn, 

I never yet could justly learn : 

But knowing well, that any head 

Is made to answer for the dead, 

(And sculptors first their faces frame, 

And after pitch upon a name, 

Nor think it aught of a misnomer 

To christen Chaucer's busto, Homer, 

Because they both have beards, which, you know, 

Will mark them well from Joan and Juno), 

For some great man, I could not tell 

But Neck might answer just as well, 

So perched it up, all in a row 

With Chatham and with Cicero. 

Then all around, in just degree, 
A range of portraits you may see, 
Of mighty men, and eke of women 
Who are no whit inferior to men. 

With these fair dames, and heroes round, 

I call my garret classic ground. 

For though confined, 'twill well contain 

The ideal flights of Madam Brain. 

No dungeon's w r alls, no cell confined 

Can cramp the energies of mind ! 

Thus, though my heart may seem so small, 

I've friends, and 'twill contain them all ; 

And should it e'er become so cold 

That these it will no longer hold, 

No more may Heaven her blessings give, 

I shall not then be fit to live. 



72 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



INSCRIPTION FOR A MONUMENT TO THE MEMORY 
OF COWPER. 

Reader ! if with no vulgar sympathy 

Thou view'st the wreck of genius and of worth, 

Stay thou thy footsteps near this hallowed spot. 

Here Cowper rests. Although renown have made 

His name familiar to thine ear, this stone 

May tell thee that his virtues were above 

The common portion : — that the voice, now hush'd 

In death, was once serenely querulous 

With pity's tones, and in the ear of woe 

Spake music. Now forgetful at thy feet 

His tired head presses on its last long rest, 

Still tenant of the tomb ; — and on the cheek, 

Once warm with animation's lambent flush, 

Sits the pale image of unmark'd decay. 

Yet mourn not. He had chosen the better part ; 

And these sad garments of mortality 

Put off, we trust, that to a happier land 

He went a light and gladsome passenger. 

Sigh'st thou for honours, reader ? Call to mind 

That glory's voice is impotent to pierce 

The silence of the tomb ! but virtue blooms 

Even on the wreck of life, and mounts the skies ! 

So gird thy loins with lowliness, and walk 

With Cowper on the pilgrimage of Christ. 



DESCRIPTION OF A SUMMER'S EVE. 

Down the sultry arc of day, 
The burning wheels have urged their way, 
And Eve along the western skies 
Sheds her intermingling dyes. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 73 

Down the deep, the miry lane, 
Creaking comes the empty wain, 
And Driver on the shaft-horse sits, 
Whistling now and then by fits ; 
And oft, with his accustomed call, 
Urging on the sluggish Ball. 
The barn is still, the master's gone, 
And Thresher puts his jacket on, 
While Dick, upon the ladder tall. 
Nails the dead kite to the wall. 
Here comes shepherd Jack at last, 
He has penned the sheep-cote fast, 
For 'twas but two nights before, 
A lamb was eaten on the moor : 
His empty wallet Rover carries, 
Nor for Jack, when near home, tarries. 
With lolling tongue he runs to try 
If the horse-trough be not dry. 
The milk is settled in the pans, 
And supper messes in the cans ; 
In the hovel carts are wheeled, 
And both the colts are drove a-field \ 
The horses are all bedded up, 
And the ewe is with the tup. 
The snare for Mister Fox is set, 
The leaven laid, the thatching wet, 
And Bess has slinked away to talk 
With Roger in the holly-walk. 

Now on the settle all, but Bess, 
Are set to eat their supper mess \ 
And little Tom, and roguish Kate, 
Are swinging on the meadow gate. 
Now they chat of various things, 
Of taxes, ministers, and kings, 
Or else tell all the village news, 
How madam did the 'squire refuse ; 
How parson on his tithes was bent, 
And landlord oft distrained for rent. 
Thus do they talk, till in the sky 



74 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

The pale-eyed moon is mounted high, 
And from the alehouse drunken Ned 
Had reeled — then hasten all to bed. 
The mistress sees that lazy Kate 
The happing-coal on kitchen grate 
Has laid — while master goes throughout, 
Sees shutters fast, the mastiff out, 
The candles safe, the hearths all clear, 
And nought from thieves or fire to fear ; 
Then both to bed together creep, 
And join the general troop of sleep. 



CHRISTMAS-DAY, 1804. 

Yet once more, and once more, awake, my harp, 
From silence and neglect — one lofty strain ; 
Lofty, yet wilder than the winds of Heaven, 
And speaking mysteries, more than words can tell, 
I ask of thee ; for I, with hy innings high, 
Would join the dirge of the departing year. 

Yet with no wintry garland from the woods, 
Wrought of the leafless branch, or ivy sere, 
Wreathe I thy tresses, dark December ! now ; 
Me higher quarrel calls, with loudest song, 
And fearful joy, to celebrate the day 
Of the Redeemer. — Near two thousand suns 
Have set their seals upon the rolling lapse 
Of generations, since the dayspring first 
Beamed from on high ! — Now to the mighty mass 
Of that increasing aggregate, we add 
One unit more. Space, in comparison, 
How small, yet marked with how much misery ; 
Wars, famines, and the fury, Pestilence, 
Over the nations hanging her dread scourge ; 
The oppressed, too, in silent bitterness, 
Weeping their sufferance ; and the arm of wrong 
Forcing the scanty portion from the weak, 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



And steeping the lone widow's couch with tears . 

So has the year been character'd with woe 

In Christian land, and mark'd with wrongs and crimes ; 

Yet 'twas not thus He taught — not thus He lived, 

Whose birth we this day celebrate with prayer 

And much thanksgiving. — He, a man of woes, 

Went on the way appointed, — path, though rude, 

Yet borne with patience still : — He came to cheer 

The broken-hearted, to raise up the sick, 

And on the wandering and benighted mind 

To pour the light of truth. — task divine ! 

O more than angel teacher ! He had words 

To soothe the barking waves, and hush the winds ; 

And when the soul was toss'd in troubled seas, 

Wrapt in thick darkness and the howling storm, 

He, pointing to the star of peace on high, 

Arm'd it with holy fortitude, and bade it smile 

At the surrounding wreck. 

When with deep agony his heart was rack'd, 

Not for himself the tear-drop dew'd his cheek, 

For them He wept, for them to Heaven He prayed, 

His persecutors — " Father, pardon them, 

They know not what they do." 

Angels of Heaven, 
Ye who beheld him fainting on the cross, 
And did him homage, say, may mortal join 
The halleluiahs of the risen God ? 
Will the faint voice and grovelling song be heard 
Amid the seraphim in light divine ? 
Yes, he will deign, the Prince of Peace will deign, 
For mercy, to accept the hymn of faith, 
Low though it be and humble. — Lord of life, 
The Christ, the Comforter, thine advent now, 
Fills my uprising soul. — I mount, I fly 
Far o'er the skies, beyond the rolling orbs ; 
The bonds of flesh dissolve, and earth recedes, 
And care, and pain, and sorrow, are no more. 



76 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



NELSONI MORS. 

Yet once again, my harp, yet once again, 

One ditty more, and on the mountain ash 

I will again suspend thee. I have felt 

The warm tear frequent on my cheek, since last 

At eventide, when all the winds were hush'd, 

I woke to thee, the melancholy song. 

Since then with Thoughtfulness, a maid severe, 

I've journey 'd, and have learn'd to shape the freaks 

Of frolic fancy to the line of truth ; 

Not unrepining, for my froward heart 

Still turns to thee, mine harp, and to the flow 

Of spring-gales past — the woods and storied haunts 

Of my not songless boyhood. — Yet once more 

Not fearless, I will wake thy tremulous tones, 

My long neglected harp.— He must not sink ; 

The good, the brave — he must not, shall not sink 

Without the meed of some melodious tear. 

Though from the Muse's chalice I may pour 

No precious dews of Aganippe's well, 

Or Castally, — though from the morning cloud 

I fetch no hues to scatter on his hearse : 

Yet will I wreathe a garland for his brows, 

Of simple flowers, such as the hedgerows scent 

Of Britain, my loved country ; and with tears 

Most eloquent, yet silent, I will bathe 

Thy honour'd corse, my Nelson, tears as warm 

And honest as the ebbing blood that flow'd 

Fast from thy honest heart. — Thou Pity too, 

If ever I have loved, with faltering step, 

To follow thee in the cold and starless night, 

To the top-crag of some rain-beaten cliff ; 

And as I heard the deep gun bursting loud 

Amid the pauses of the storm, have pour'd 

Wild strains, and mournful, to the hurrying winds, 



MISCELLANEOUS. 77 



Thy dying soul's viaticum ; if oft 

Amid the carnage of the field I've sate 

With thee upon the moonlight throne, and sung 

To cheer the fainting soldier's dying soul, 

With mercy and forgiveness ; visitant 

Of Heaven, sit thou upon my harp, 

And give it feeling, which were else too cold 

For argument so great, for theme so high. 

How dimly on that morn the sun arose, 
' Kerchief 'd in mists ? and tearful, when 



* * * * 



« I'M PLEASED, AND YET I'M SAD." 

I. 

When twilight steals along the ground, 
And all the bells are ringing round, 

One, two, three, four, and five ; 
I at my study window sit, 
And wrapt in many a musing fit, 

To bliss am all alive. 

11. 
But though impressions calm and sweet, 
Thrill round my heart a holy heat, 

And I am inly glad ; 
The tear-drop stands in either eye, 
And yet I cannot tell thee why, 

I'm pleased, and yet I'm sad. 

in. 
The silvery rack that flies away, 
Like mortal life or pleasure's ray, 

Does that disturb my breast ? 
Nay, what have I, a studious man, 
To do with life's unstable plan, 

Or pleasure's fading vest ? 



78 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 



Is it that here I must not stop, 
But o'er yon blue hill's woody top 

Must bend my lonely way? 
Kow, surely no, for give but me 
My own fire-side, and I shall be 

At home where'er I stray. 



Then is it that yon steeple there, 
With music sweet shall fill the air, 

When thou no more canst hear ? 
Oh no ! oh no ! for then, forgiven, 
I shall be with my God in heaven, 

Released from every fear. 



Then whence it is I cannot tell, 
But there is some mysterious spell 

That holds me when I'm glad ; 
And so the tear-drop fills my eye, 
When yet in truth I know not why, 

Or wherefore I am sad. 



SOLITUDE. 

It is not that my lot is low, 
That bids this silent tear to flow 
It is not grief that bids me moan ; 
It is that I am all alone. 

In woods and glens I love to roam, 
When the tired hedger hies him home ; 
Or by the woodland pool to rest, 
When pale the star looks on its breast. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 79 



Yet when the silent evening sighs, 
With hallow'd airs and symphonies, 
My spirit takes another tone, 
And sighs that it is all alone. 

The autumn leaf is sere and dead, 
It floats upon the water's bed ; 
I would not be a leaf, to die 
Without recording sorrow's sigh ! 

The woods and winds, with sudden wail, 
Tell all the same unvaried tale ; 
I've none to smile when I am free, 
And when I sigh, to sigh with me. 

Yet in my dreams a form I view, 
That thinks on me and loves me too ; 
I start, and when the vision's flown, 
I weep that I am all alone. 



If far from me the Fates remove 
Domestic peace, connubial love ; 
The prattling ring, the social cheer, 
Affection's voice, affection's tear ; 
Ye sterner powers that bind the heart, 
To me your iron aid impart ! 

teach me, when the nights are chill, 
And my fire-side is lone and still ; 
When to the blaze that crackles near, 

1 turn a tired and pensive ear, 

And nature conquering bids me sigh, 
For love's soft accents whispering nigh ; 
O teach me on that heavenly road, 
That leads to Truth's occult abode, 
To wrap my soul in dreams sublime, 
Till earth and care no more be mine. 



80 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Let blest philosophy impart, 
Her soothing measures to my heart ; 
And while, with Plato's ravished ear^ 
I list the music of the spheres ; 
Or on the mystic symbols pore, 
That hide the Chald's sublimer lore, 
I shall not brood on summers gone. 
Nor think that I am all alone. 



Fanny ! upon thy breast I may not lie ! 

Fanny ! thou dost not hear me when I speak ! 
Where art thou, love ? — Around I turn my eye. 

And as I turn, the tear is on my cheek. 
Was it a dream ? or did my love behold 

Indeed my lonely couch ? — Methought the breath 
Fann'd not her bloodless lip ; her eye was cold 

And hollow, and the livery of death 
Invested her pale forehead. — Sainted maid, 

My thoughts oft rest with thee in thy cold grave, 

Through the long wintry night, when wind and wave 
Rock the dark house where thy poor head is laid. 
Yet, hush ! my fond heart, hush ! there is a shore 

Of better promise ; and I know at last, 

When the long sabbath of the tomb is past, 
We two shall meet in Christ — to part no more. 



EPIGRAM ON ROBERT BLOOMFIELD. 

Bloomfield, thy happy omen'd name 
Ensures continuance to thy fame : 
Both sense and truth this verdict give, 
Whilst fields shall bloom thy name shall live 1 



MISCELLANEOUS. 81 



THE PROSTITUTE. 

Dactylics, 

Woman of weeping eye, ah ! for thy wretched lot, 
Putting on smiles to lure the lewd passenger, 
Smiling while anguish gnaws at thy heavy heart ! 

Sad is thy chance, thou daughter of misery, 
Vice and disease are wearing thee fast away, 
While the unfeeling ones sport with thy sufferings. 

Destined to pamper the vicious one's appetite ; 
Spurned by the beings who lured thee from innocence ; 
Sinking unnoticed in sorrow and indigence ; 

Thou hast no friends, for they with thy virtue fled ; 
Thou art an outcast from house and from happiness ; 
Wandering alone on the wide world's unfeeling stage ! 

Daughter of misery, sad is thy prospect here ; 

Thou hast no friend to soothe down the bed of death ; 

None after thee inquires with solicitude ; 

Famine and fell disease shortly will wear thee down, 
Yet thou hast still to brave often the winters wind, 
Loathsome to those thou wouldst court with thine hollow 
eyes. 

Soon thou wilt sink into death's silent slumbering, 

And not a tear shall fall on thy early grave, 

Nor shall a single stone tell where thy bones are laid. 

Once wert thou happy — thou wert once innocent ; 
But the seducer beguiled thee in artlessness, 
Then he abandoned thee unto thine infamy. 



82 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Now he perhaps is reclined on a bed of down ; 

But if a wretch like him sleeps in security, 

God of the red right arm ! where is thy thunderbolt ? 



THE EVE OF DEATH. 

Irregular. 

I. 
Silence of Death — portentous calm, 

Those airy forms that yonder fly, 
Denote that your void foreruns a storm, 

That the hour of fate is nigh. 
I see, I see, on the dim mist borne, 

The Spirit of battles rear his crest ! 
I see, I see, that ere the morn, 

His spear will forsake its hated rest, 
And the widow'd wife of Larrendill will beat her naked 
breast. 



O'er the smooth bosom of the sullen deep 

No softly-ruffling zephyrs fly ; 
But nature sleeps a deathless sleep, 

For the hour of battle is nigh. 
Not a loose leaf waves on the dusky oak, 

But a creeping stillness reigns around ; 
Except when the raven, with ominous croak, 

On the ear does unwelcomely sound, 
I know, I know, what this silence means, 

I know what the raven saith — 
Strike, oh, ye bards ! the melancholy harp, 

For this is the eve of death. 

ii. 
Behold, how along the twilight air 

The shades of our fathers glide ? 
There Morven fled, with the blood-drench'd hair, 

And Colma with gray side. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 83 



No gale around its coolness flings, 

Yet sadly sigh the gloomy trees ; 
And hark, how the harp's un visited strings 

Sound sweet, as if swept by a whispering breeze ! 
'Tis done ! the sun he has set in blood ! 

He will never set more to the brave ; 
Let us pour to the hero the dirge of death — ■ 

For to-morrow he hies to the grave. 



WRITTEN IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH. 

Sad solitary Thought, who keep'st thy vigils, 

Thy solemn vigils, in the sick man's mind ; 

Communing lonely with his sinking soul, 

And musing on the dubious glooms that lie 

In dim obscurity before him, — thee, 

Wrapt in thy dark magnificence, I call 

At this still midnight hour, this awful season, 

When on my bed, in wakeful restlessness, 

I turn me wearisome ; while all around, 

All, all save me, sink in forgetfulness ; 

I only wake to watch the sickly taper 

Which lights me to my tomb. — Yes, 'tis the hand 

Of death I feel press heavy on my vitals, 

Slow sapping the warm current of existence. 

My moments now are few — The sand of life 

Ebbs fastly to its finish, — Yet a little, 

And the fast fleeting particle will fall 

Silent, unseen, unnoticed, unlamented. 

Come then, sad thought, and let us meditate, 

While meditate we may. — We have now 

But a small portion of what men call time 

To hold communion : for even now the knife, 

The separating knife, I feel divide 

The tender bond that binds my soul to earth. 

Yes, I must die — I feel that I must die ; 

And though to me has life been dark and dreary, 

Though hope for me has smiled but to deceive, 

And disappointment still pursued her blandishments : 



84 HENRY KIJRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Yet do I feel my soul recoil within me 

As I contemplate the grim gulf of death, 

The shuddering void, the awful blank — futurity. 

Aye, I had planned full many a sanguine scheme 

Of earthly happiness, — romantic schemes, 

And fraught with loveliness ; and it is hard 

To feel the hand of death arrest one's steps, 

Throw a chill blight o'er all ones budding hopes, 

And hurl one's soul untimely to the shades, 

Lost in the gaping gulf of blank oblivion. 

Fifty years hence, and who will hear of Henry ? 

Oh ! none ; — another busy brood of beings 

Will shoot up in the interim, and none 

Will hold him in remembrance. I shall sink, 

As sinks a stranger in the crowded streets 

Of busy London ; Some short bustle's caused, 

A few inquiries, and the crowds close in, 

And all's forgotten,— On my grassy grave 

The men of future times will careless tread, 

And read my name upon the sculptured stone ; 

Nor will the sound, familiar to their ears, 

Recall my vanished memory. — I did hope 

For better things ! — I hoped I should not leave 

The earth without a vestige ; — Fate decrees 

It shall be otherwise, and I submit. 

Henceforth, oh w r orld, no more of thy desires ! 

No more of hope ! the wanton vagrant Hope ! 

I abjure all. — Now other cares engross me, 

And my tired soul with emulative haste, 

Looks to its God, and prunes its wings for Heaven. 



LINES ON READING THE POEMS OF WARTON. 

Age, Fourteen. 

Warton ! to thy soothing shell, 
Stretch'd remote in hermit cell, 
Where the brook runs babbling by, 
For ever I could listening lie ; 



MISCELLANEOUS. 85 



And catching all the Muses' fire 
Hold converse with the tuneful quire. 

"What pleasing themes thy page adorn ! 
The ruddy streaks of cheerful morn, 
The pastoral pipe, the ode sublime, 
And melancholy's mournful chime, 
Each with unwonted graces shines 
In thy ever lovely lines. 

Thy Muse deserves the lasting meed ; 
Attuning sweet the Dorian reed, 
Now the lovelorn swain complains, 
And sings his sorrows to the plains ; 
Now the sylvan scenes appear 
Through all the changes of the year > 
Or the elegiac strain 
Softly sings of mental pain, 
And mournful diapasons sail 
On the faintly-dying gale. 

But, ah ! the soothing scene is o'er I 

On middle flight we cease to soar, 
For now the Muse assumes a bolder sweep, 
Strikes on the lyric string her sorrows deep, 

In strains unheard before. 
Now, now the rising fire thrills high, 
Now, now to heaven's high realms we fly, 

And every throne explore ; 
The soul entranced, on mighty wings, 
"With all the poet's heat, up springs, 

And loses earthly woes ; 
Till all alarmed at the giddy height, 
The Muse descends on gentler flight, 

And lulls the weary soul to soft repose, 



86 HENRY K1KKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



LINES ON RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS. 
Written in Wilford Churchyard. 

Here would I wish to sleep. — This is the spot 
Which I have long mark'd out to lay my bones in : 
Tired out and wearied with the riotous world, 
Beneath this yew I would be sepulchred. 
It is a lovely spot ! the sultry sun, 
From his meridian height, endeavours vainly 
To pierce the shadowy foliage, while the zephyr 
Comes wafting gently o'er the rippling Trent, 
And plays about my wan cheek. 'Tis a nook 
Most pleasant. — Such a one perchance did Gray 
Frequent, as with the vagrant muse he wanton'd. 
Come, I will sit me down and meditate, 
For I am wearied with my summer's walk ; 
And here I may repose in silent ease ; 
And thus, perchance, when life's sad journey's o'er, 
My harass'd soul, in this same spot, may find 
The haven of its rest — beneath this sod 
Perchance may sleep it sweetly, sound as death. 

I would not have my corpse cemented down 

With brick and stone, defrauding the poor earthworm 

Of its predestined dues ; no, I would lie 

Beneath a little hillock, grass o'ergrown, 

Swath'd down with oziers, just as sleep the cotters. 

Yet may not undistinguished be my grave ; 

But there at eve may some congenial soul 

Duly resort, and shed a pious tear, 

The good man's benison — no more I ask. 

And oh ! (if heavenly beings may look down 

From where, with cherubim inspired, they sit, 

Upon this little dim-discover'd spot, 

The earth), then will I cast a glance below 

On him who thus my ashes shall embalm; 

And I will weep, too, and will bless the wanderer, 




--" > 



... Me 
IM labourer. rera_Tnxtig from M.s toil. 
Here stay Ms steps and call Ms cML&r 
.Anil sloivly spelt, the rai&ly scMptiixe d rlym.es 
And, in Ms rustic maimer, moralize. 



Tf.ri, 



MISCELLANEOUS. 37 



Wishing he may not long be cloom'd to pine 
In this low- though ted world of darkling woe, 
But that, ere long, he reach his .kindred skies. 

Yet 'twas a silly thought — as if the body. 

Mouldering beneath the surface of the earth, 

Could taste the sweets of summer scenery, 

And feel the freshness of the balmy breeze ! 

Yet nature speaks within the human bosom, 

And, spite of reason, bids it look beyond 

His narrow verge of being, and provide 

A decent residence for its clayey shell, 

Endear'd to it by time. And who would lay 

His body in the city burial-place, 

To be thrown up again by some rude sexton, 

And yield its narrow house another tenant, 

Ere the moist flesh had mingled with the dust, 

Ere the tenacious hair had left the scalp, 

Exposed to insult lewd, and wantonness ? 

No, I will lay me in the village ground ; 

There are the dead respected. The poor hind, 

Unlettered as he is, would scorn to invade 

The silent resting-place of death. I've seen 

The labourer, returning from his toil, 

Here stay his steps, and call his children round, 

And slowly spell the rudely sculptured rhymes, 

And, in his rustic manner, moralize. 

I've mark'd with what a silent awe he'd spoken, 

With head uncover'd, his respectful manner, 

And all the honours which he paid the grave, 

And thought on cities, where even cemeteries, 

Bestrew'd with all the emblems of mortality, 

Are not protected from the drunken insolence 

Of wassailers profane, and wanton havoc. 

Grant, Heaven, that here my pilgrimage may close ! 

Yet, if this be denied, where'er my bones 

May lie — or in the city's crowded bounds, 

Or scatter'd wide o'er the huge sweep of waters, 

Or left a prey on some deserted shore 

To the rapacious cormorant, — yet still, 



88 



HENRY KTRKE WHITE'S POE^fS. 



(For why should sober reason cast away 

A thought which soothes the soul ?) — yet still my spirit 

Shall wing its way to these my native regions, 

And hover o'er this spot. Oh, then 111 think 

Of times when I was seated 'neath this yew 

In solemn rumination ; and will smile 

With joy that I have got my long'd release. 



LINES WRITTEN ON A SURVEY OF THE HEAVENS, 

In the Morning before Daybreak. 

Ye many- tw inkling stars, who yet do hold 

Your brilliant places in the sabre vault 

Of night's dominions ! — -Planets, and central orbs 

Of other systems ! — big as the burning sun, 

Which lights this nether globe, — yet to our eye, 

Small as the glow-worm's lamp ! — To you I raise 

My lowly orisons, while all bewildered, 

My vision strays o'er your ethereal hosts ; 

Too vast, too boundless, for our narrow mind, 

Warped with low prejudices, to infold, 

And sagely comprehend. Thence higher soaring 

Through ye, I raise my solemn thoughts to Him ! 

The mighty founder of this wondrous maze, 

The great Creator ! Him ! who now sublime 

Wrapt in the solitary amplitude 

Of boundless space, above the rolling spheres 

Sits on His silent throne, and meditates. 

The angelic hosts, in their inferior heaven, 
Hymn to their golden harps His praise sublime, 
Repeating loud, " The Lord our God is great," 
In varied harmonies. — The glorious sounds 
Roll o'er the air serene. — The iEolian spheres, 
Harping along their viewless boundaries, 
Catch the full note, and cry, " The Lord is great," 
Responding to the Seraphim. — O'er all, 
From orb to orb, to the remotest verge 



MISCELLANEOUS. 89 



Of the created world, the sound is borne 
Till the whole universe is full of Him. 

Oh ! 'tis this heavenly harmony which now 
In fancy strikes upon my listening ear, 
And thrills my inmost soul. It bids me smile 
On the vain world, and all its bustling cares, 
And gives a shadowy glimpse of future bliss. 

Oh ! what is man, when at ambition's height, 
What even are Mugs, when balanced in the scale 
Of these stupendous worlds ! Almighty God ! 
Thou, the dread author of these wond'rous works ! 
Say, canst thou cast on me, poor passing worm, 
One look of kind benevolence ? — Thou canst : 
For thou art full of universal love, 
And in thy boundless goodness wilt impart 
Thy beams as well to me, as to the proud, 
The pageant insects, of a glittering hour. 

Oh ! when reflecting on these truths sublime, 

How insignificant do all the joys, 

The gauds, and honours of the world appear ! 

How vain ambition ! Why has my wakeful lamp 

Outwatched the slow-paced night ? Why on the page, 

The schoolman's laboured page, have I employed 

The hours devoted by the world to rest. 

And needful to recruit exhausted nature ! 

Say, can the voice of narrow Fame repay 

The loss of health ? or can the hope of glory, 

Lend a new throb into my languid heart, 

Cool, even row, my feverish, aching brow, 

Relume the fires of this deep-sunken eye, 

Or paint new colours on this pallid cheek ? 

Say, foolish one — can that unbodied Fame, 

For which thou barterest health and happiness, 

Say, can it soothe the slumbers of the grave? 

Give a new zest to bliss ? or chase the pangs 

Of everlasting punishment condign ? 

Alas ! how vain are mortal man's desires ! 



90 HENRY KIEKE WHITES POEMS. 

How fruitless his pursuits ! Eternal God ! 
Guide thou my footsteps in the way of truth, 
And oh ! assist me so to live on earth, 
That I may die in peace, and claim a place 
In thy high dwelling. — All but this is folly. 
The vain illusions of deceitful life. 



LINES SUPPOSED TO BE SPOKEN BY A LOYER AT 

THE GRAYE OF HIS MISTRESS. 

{Occasioned by a Situation in a Romance.} 

Mary, the moon is sleeping on thy grave, 

And on thy turf thy lover sad is kneeling, 

The big tear in his eye. — Mary, awake, 

From thy dark house arise, and bless his sight 

On the pale moonbeam gliding. Soft, and low, 

Pour on the silver ear of night thy tale, 

Thy whispered tale, of comfort, and of love, 

To soothe thy Edward's lorn, distracted soul, 

And cheer his breaking heart. — Come, as thou didst, 

When o'er the barren moors the night- wind howl d 

And the deep thunders shook the ebon throne 

Of the startled night. — Oh ! then, as lone reclining, 

I listened sadbv to the dismal storm, 

Thou, on the lambent lightnings wild careering, 

Didst strike my moody eye ; — dead pale thou wert, 

Yet passing lovely. — Thou didst smile upon me, 

And oh ! thy voice it rose so musical 

Betwixt the hollow pauses of the storm, 

That at the sound the winds forgot to rave, 

And the stern demon of the tempest, charm'd, 

Sunk on his rocking throne to still repose, 

Locked in the arms of silence. 

Spirit of her. 
My only love \ — Oh ! now again arise, 
And let once more thine aery accents fall 
Soft on my listening ear. The night is calm, 
The gloomy willows wave in sinking cadence 




MAH3",£lie mo oil is sleeping oiltV- graire, 
Ana. cm thy toif thy lcnrei sad is Vn p 
The "big tear in lis sye . - Mary awake , 
Trom thy cLark "house arise, 

F. 9 0. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 91 



With the stream that sweeps below. Divinely swelling 

On the still air. the distant waterfall 

Mingles its melody : — and high, above.. 

The pensive empress of the solemn night, 

Fitful, emerging from the rapid clouds, 

Shows her chaste face, in the meridian sky. 

No wicked elves upon the WarlocJc-hioIl 

Dare now assemble at their mystic revels. 

It is a night, when, from their primrose beds, 

The gentle ghosts of injured innocents 

Are known to rise, and wander on the breeze, 

Or take their stand by the oppressor's couch, 

And strike grim terror to his guilty soul. 

The spirit of my love might now awake, 

And hold its 'customed converse. 

Alary, lo ! 
Thy Edward kneels upon thy verdant grave, 
And calls upon thy name. — The breeze that blows 
On his wan cheek, will soon sweep over him, 
In solemn music, a funereal dirge, 
Wild and most sorrowful. — His cheek is pale, 
The worm that preyed upon thy youthful bloom, 
It cankered green on his. — Now lost he stands, 
The ghost of what he was, and the cold dew 
Which bathes his aching temples gives sure omen 
Of speedy dissolution. — Alary, soon 
Thy love will lay his pallid cheek to thine, 
And sweetly will he sleep with thee in death. 



LINES. 

"Written after reading some of hi? ovra earlier Sonnets. 

Yes, my stray steps have wander'd, wander'd far 
From thee, and long, heart-soothing Poesy ! 
And many a flower, which in the passing time 
My heart hath register'd. nipp'd by the chill 
Of undeserv'd neglect, hath shrunk and died. 



92 HENRY KIKKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Heart-soothing Poesy ! — Tho' thou hast ceas'd 

To hover o'er the many- voiced strings 

Of my long silent lyre, yet thou canst still 

Call the warm tear from its thrice hallow' d cell, 

And with recalled images of bliss 

Warm my reluctant heart. — Yes, I would throw, 

Once more would throw, a quick and hurried hand 

O'er the responding chords. — It hath not ceas'd — 

It cannot, will not cease ; the heavenly warmth 

Plays round my heart, and mantles o'er my cheek ; 

Still, tho' unbidden, plays. — Fair Poesy ! 

The summer and the spring, the wind and rain, 

Sunshine and storm, with various interchange, 

Have mark'd full many a day, and week, and month, 

Since by dark wood, or hamlet far retir'd, 

Spell-struck, with thee I loiter'd. — Sorceress ! 

I cannot burst thy bonds ! — It is but lift 

Thy blue eyes to that deep bespangled vault. 

Wreathe thy enchanted tresses round thine arm, 

And mutter some obscure and charmed rhyme, 

And I could follow thee, on thy night's work, 

Up to the regions of thrice-chastened fire, 

Or in the caverns of the ocean flood, 

Thrid the light masses of thy volant foot. 

Yet other duties call me, and mine ear 

Must turn away from the high minstrelsy 

Of thy soul- trancing harp, unwillingly 

Must turn away ; — there are severer strains 

(And surely they are sweet as ever smote 

The ear of spirit, from this mortal coil 

Releas'd and disembodied), there are strains 

Forbid to all, save those whom solemn thought, 

Thro' the probation of revolving years, 

And mighty converse with the spirit of truth, 

Have purged and purified. — To these my soul 

Aspireth ; and to this sublimer end 

I gird myself, and climb the toilsome steep 

With patient expectation. — Yea, sometimes 

Foretaste of bliss rewards me ; And sometimes 

Spirits unseen upon my footsteps wait, 



MISCELLANEOUS. <J3 



And minister strange music, which doth seem 

Now near, now distant, now on high, now low, 

Then swelling from all sides, with bliss complete, 

And full fruition filling all the soul. 

Surely such ministry, tho' rare, may sooth 

The steep ascent, and cheat the lassitude 

Of toil ; and but that my fond heart 

Reverts to day-dreams of the summer gone, 

When by clear fountain, or embowered brake, 

I lay a listless rnuser, prizing far 

Above all other lore, the poet's theme ; 

But for such recollections I could brace 

My stubborn spirit for the arduous path 

Of science unregretting ; eye afar 

Philosophy upon her steepest height, 

And with bold step, and resolute attempt, 

Pursue her to the innermost recess, 

Where thron'd in light she sits, the Queen of Truth. 



LINES, 



Written Impromptu, on reading the folloiving passage in Mr Cap el 
LoffVs beautiful and interesting preface to Nathaniel Bloomfield's 
Poems, just published. 

« It has a mixture of the sportive, which deepens the impression of its melan- 
choiv close. I could have wished, as I have said in a short note, the conclusion 
had "been otherwise. The sours of life less offend my t;.ste than its sweets de- 
light it." 

Go to the raging sea, and say, " Be still," 
Bid the wild lawless winds obey thy will ; 
Preach to the storm, and reason w T ith despair, 
But tell not Misery's son that life is fair ! 
Thou, who in Plenty's lavished lap hast rolled, 
And every year with new delight hast told, 
Thou, who recumbent on the lacquered barge, 
Hast dropt down joy's gay stream of pleasant marge, 
Thou mayest extol life's calm, untroubled sea, 
The storms of misery never burst on thee ! 

Go to the mat, where squalid want reclines, 
Go to the shade obscure where merit pines ; 



94 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 

Abide with him whom penury's charms control, 
And bind the rising yearnings of his soul, 
Survey his sleepless couch, and standing there, 
Tell the poor pallid wretch, that life is fair ! 

Press thou the lonely pillow of his head, 
And ask why sleep his languid eyes has fled : 
Mark his dewed temples, and his half- shut eye, 
His trembling nostrils, and his deep-drawn sigh, 
His mutt'ring mouth, contorted with despair, 
And ask if Genius could inhabit there. 

Oh yes ! that sunken eye with fire once gleamed, 
And rays of light from its full circlet streamed ; 
But now Neglect has stung him to the core, 
And Hope's wild raptures thrill his breast no more 

Domestic Anguish winds his vitals round, 
And added Grief compels him to the ground. 
Lo ! o'er his manly form, decayed, and wan, 
The shades of death with gradual steps steal on ; 
And the pale mother pining to decay, 
Weeps for her boy her wretched life away. 

Go, child of Fortune ! to his early grave, 

Where o'er his head obscure the rank weeds wave ; 

Behold the heart-wrung parent lay her head 

On the cold turf, and ask to share his bed. 

Go, child of Fortune, take thy lesson there, 

And tell us then that life is wondrous fair I 

Yet, LofFt, in thee, whose hand is still stretched forth, 

T' encourage genius, and to foster worth ; 

On thee, th' unhappy's firm, unfailing friend, 

'Tis just that every blessing should descend ; 

'Tis just that life to thee should only show, 

Her fairer side but little mixed with woe. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



TO THE HERB ROSEMARY.* 

I. 

Sweet scented flower ! who art wont to bloom 

On January's front severe, 

And o'er the wintry desert drear 
To waft thy waste perfume ! 
Come, thou shalt form my nosegay now ; 
And I will bind thee round my brow ; 

And as I twine the mournful wreath, 
I'll weave a melancholy song, 
And sweet the strain shall be and long, — 

The melody of death. 

ii. 

Come, funeral flower ! who lov'st to dwell 
With the pale corse in lonely tomb, 
And throw across the desert gloom 
A sweet decaying smell. 

Come, press my lips, and lie with me 

Beneath the lowly alder tree, 

And we will sleep a pleasant sleep, 

And not a care shall dare intrude, 

To break the marble solitude, 
So peaceful, and so deep. 

in. 
And hark ! the wind-god, as he flies, 
Moans hollow in the forest-trees, 
And sailing on the gusty breeze, 
Mysterious music dies. 
Sweet flower ! that requiem wild is mine, 
It warms me to the lonely shrine. 

The cold turf altar of the dead ; 
My grave shall be in yon lone spot, 
Where as I lie, by all forgot, 
A dying fragrance thou wilt o'er my ashes shed. 

* The Rosemary buds in January. It is the flower commonly put in 
the coffins of the dead. 



SG HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



TO THE MORNING. 

Written durivg Illness. 

Beams of the daybreak faint ! I hail 
Your dubious hues, as on the robe 
Of night, which wraps the slumbering globe, 

I mark your traces pale, 
Tir'd with the taper's sickly light, 
And with the wearying, numbered night, 
I hail the streaks of morn divine : 
And lo ! they break between the dewy wreathes 

That round my rural casement twine ; 
The fresh gale o'er the green lawn breathes, 
It fans my feverish brow, — it calms the mental strife, 
And cheerily re-illumes the lambent flame of life. 

The Lark has her gay song begun,, 

She leaves her grassy nest, 
And soars till the unrisen sun 

Gleams on her speckled breast, 
Now let me leave my restless bed, 
And o'er the spangled uplands tread ; 

Now through the custom'd wood-walk wend ; 
By many a green lane lies my way, 

Where high o'er head the wild briers bend, 

Till on the mountain's summit gray, 
I sit me down, and mark the glorious dawn of day. 

Oh, Heaven ! the soft refreshing gale 

It breathes into my breast, 
My sunk eye gleams, my cheek so pale, 

Is with new colours drest. 
Blithe Health ! thou soul of life and ease ! 
Come thou, too, on the balmy breeze, 



MISCELLANEOUS. 97 



Invigorate my frame : 
I'll join with thee the buskin'd chase, 
With thee the distant clime will trace, 

Beyond those clouds of flame. 

Above, below, what charms unfold 

In all the varied view ! 
Before me all is burnish' d gold, 

Behind the twilight's hue. 
The mists which on old Night await, 
Far to the West they hold their state, 

They shun the clear blue face of Morn ; 

Along the fine cerulean sky, 

The fleecy clouds successive fly, 
While bright prismatic beams their shadowy folds adorn. 

And hark ! the Thatcher has begun 

His whistle on the eaves, 
And oft the Hedger's bill is heard 

Among the rustling leaves. 
The slow team creaks upon the road, 

The noisy whip resounds, 
The driver's voice, his carol blithe, 
The mower's stroke, his whetting scythe, 

Mix with the morning's sounds. 

Who would not rather take his seat 

Beneath these clumps of trees, 
The early dawn of day to greet, 

And catch the healthy breeze, 
Than on the silken couch of Sloth 

Luxurious to lie ; 
Who would not from life's dreary waste 
Snatch, when he could, with eager haste, 

An interval of joy ! 

To him who simply thus recounts 

The morning's pleasures o'er, 
Fate dooms, ere long, the scene must close 

To ope on him no more. 



98 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Yet, Morning ! unrepining still 

He'll greet thy beams awhile, 
And surely thou, when o'er his grave 
Solemn the whisp'ring willows wave, 

Wilt sweetly on him smile ; 
And the pale glow-worm's pensive light 
Will guide his ghostly walks in the drear moonless night 



TO A FRIEND. 

Written at a very Early Age % 

I've read, my friend, of Diocletian, 

And many other noble Grecian, 

Who wealth and palaces resign'd, 

In cots the joys of peace to find ; 

Maximian's meal of turnip-tops, 

(Disgusting food to dainty chops), 

I've also read of, without wonder : 

But such a curst, egregious blunder, 

As that a man, of wit and sense, 

Should leave his books to hoard up pence,- 

Forsake the loved Aonian maids, 

For all the petty tricks of trades, 

I never, either now, or long since, 

Have heard of such a piece of nonsense ; 

That one who learning's joys hath felt, 

And at the Muse's altar knelt, 

Should leave a life of sacred leisure, 

To taste the accumulating pleasure ; 

And metamorphosed to an alley duck, 

Grovel in loads of kindred muck. 

Oh ! 'tis beyond my comprehension! 

A courtier throwing up his pension, — 

A lawyer working without a fee, 

A parson giving charity, 

A truly pious methodist preacher, 

Are not, egad, so out of nature. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



99 



Had nature made thee half a fool, 

But given thee wit to keep a school, 

I had not stared at thy backsliding ; 

But when thy wit I can confide in, 

When well I know thy just pretence 

To solid and exalted sense ; 

When well I know that on thy head 

Philosophy her lights hath shed, 

I stand aghast ! thy virtues sum to, 

And wonder what this world will come to ! 

Yet, whence this strain ? shall I repine 
That thou alone dost singly shine? 
Shall I lament that thou alone, 
Of men of parts, hast prudence known ? 



TO A FRIEND IN DISTRESS, 

"Who, when the Author reasoned with him calmly, asked, 
" If he did not feel for him ?" 



•' Do I not feel !" The doubt is keen as steel. 
Yea, I do feel — most exquisitely feel ; 
My heart can weep, when from my downcast eye 
I chase the tear, and stern the rising sigh : 
Deep buried there I close the rankling dart, 
And smile the most when heaviest is my heart. 
On this I act — whatever pangs surround, 
? Tis magnanimity to hide the wound. 
When all was new, and life was in its spring, 
I lived an unloved solitary thing ; 
Even then I learnt to bury deep from day 
The piercing cares that wore my youth away. 
Even then I learnt for others 1 cares to feel, 
Even then I wept I had not power to heal ; 
Even then, deep-sounding through the nightly gloom, 
I heard the wretched's groan^ and mourn'd the wretched 's 
doom. 



100 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Who were my friends in youth ? — The midnight fire- 

The silent moonbeam, or the starry choir ; 

To these I 'plained, or turned from outer sight, 

To bless my lonely taper's friendly light ; 

I never yet could ask, howe'er forlorn, 

For vulgar pity mix'd with vulgar scorn ; 

The sacred source of woe I never ope, 

My breast's my coffer, and my God's my hope. 

But that I do feel, time, my friend, will show, 

Though the cold crowd the secret never know ; 

With them I laugh — yet when no eye can see, 

I weep for nature, and I weep for thee. 

Yes, thou didst wrong me, ; I fondly thought, 

In thee I'd found the friend my heart had sought ; 
I fondly thought that thou couldst pierce the guise, 
And read the truth that in my bosom lies ; 
[ fondly thought ere Time's last days were gone, 
Thy heart and mine had mingled into one ! 
Yes — and they yet will mingle. Days and years 
Will fly, and leave us partners in our tears : 
We then shall feel that friendship has a power, 
To soothe affliction in her darkest hour ; 
Time's trial o'er, shall clasp each other's hand, 
And wait the passport to a better land. 
Thine, 

H. K. White. 

Half-past 11 o'clock at night. 



VERSES. 

Composed extempore in the presence of B. Mad-dock, as an 
evidence of the Authors ability to write Poetry. 

Thou base repiner at another's joy, 

Whose eye turns green at merit not thine own ; 
Oh far away from generous Britons fly, 

And find in meaner climes a fitter throne ! 




tke lone EaicL at midnight sr 

ais pale features streams ] 



MISCELLANEOUS. JQl 



Away, away, it shall not be, 

That thou shalt dare defile our plains : 
The truly generous heart disdains 

Thy meaner, lowlier fires, while he 
Joys at another's joy, and smiles at other's jollity. 

Triumphant monster ! though thy schemes succeed, — 

Schemes laid in Acheron, the brood of night, 
Yet, but a little while, and nobly freed, 

Thy happy victim will emerge to light ; 
When o'er his head, in silence that reposes, 

Some kindred soul shall come to drop a tear, 
Then will his last cold pillow turn to roses, 

Which thou hadst planted with the thorn severe ; 
Then will thy baseness stand confess'd, and all 

Will curse the ungenerous fate that bade a Poet fall. 



Yet ah : thy sorrows are too keen, too sure ! 

Couldst thou not pitch upon another prey ? 
Alas ; in robbing him thou robb'st the poor, 

Who only boast what thou wouldst take away. 
See the lone bard at midnight study sitting ; 

O'er his pale features streams his dying lamp; 
W r hile o'er fond fancy's pale perspective flitting, 

Successive forms their fleet ideas stamp. 

Yet, say, is bliss upon his brow impress'd ? 

Does jocund health in thoughts still mansion live ? 
Lo, the cold dews that on his temples rest, 

That short quick sigh — their sad responses give ! 
And canst thou rob a poet of his song ; 

Snatch from the bard his trivial meed of praise ? 
Small are his gains, nor does he hold them long ; 

Then leave, leave him to enjoy his lays 
While yet he lives, — for, to his merits just, 

Though future ages join his fame to raise, 
Will the loud trump awake his cold unheeding dust ! 



180L 



102 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



VERSES. 

When pride and envy, and the scorn 
Of wealth, my heart with gall imbued, 

I thought how pleasant were the morn 
Of silence in the solitude ; 

To hear the forest bee on wing ; 

Or by the stream, or woodland spring. 

To lie and muse alone — alone, 

While the twinkling waters moan, 

Or such wild sounds arise, as say, 

Man and noise are far away. 

Now, surely, thought I, there's enow 

To fill life's dusty way ; 
And who will miss a poet's feet, 

Or wonder where he stray ? 
So to the woods and waste I'll go, 

And I will build an osier bower ; 
And sweetly there to me shall flow 

The meditative hour. 

And when the Autumn's withering hand 
Shall strew with leaves the sylvan land, 
I'll to the forest caverns hie : 
And in the dark and stormy nights 
I'll listen to the shrieking sprites, 
Who, in the wintry wolds and floods 
Keep jubilee, and shred the woods ; 
Or, as it drifted soft and slow, 
Hurl in ten thousand shapes the snow. 

# * * # 



BALLADS. 



GONDOLINE. 
A Ballad. 

The night it was still, and the moon it shone 

Serenely on the sea, 
And the waves at the foot of the rifted rock 

They murmur'd pleasantly. 

When Gondoline roamed along the shore, 

A maiden full fair to the sight ; 
Though love had made bleak the rose on her cheek, 

And turn'd it to deadly white. 

Her thoughts they were drear, and the silent tear 

It nll'd her faint blue eye, 
As oft she heard, in fancy's ear, 

Her Bertrand's dying sigh. 

Her Bertrand was the bravest youth 

Of all our good king's men, 
And he was gone to the Holy Land 

To fight the Saracen. 

And many a month had pass'd away, 

And many a rolling year, 
But nothing the maid from Palestine 

Could of her lover hear. 



104 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Full oft she vainly tried to pierce 

The ocean's misty face ; 
Full oft she thought her lover's bark 

She on the wave could trace. 

And ever}^ night she placed a light 
In the high rock's lonely tower, 

To guide her lover to the land, 

Should the murky tempest lower. 

But now despair had seized her breast, 

And sunken in her eye : 
" Oh ! tell me but if Bertrand live, 

And I in peace will die." 

She wander'd o'er the lonely shore, 
The curlew scream'd above, 

She heard the scream with a sickening heart, 
Much boding of her love. 

Yet still she kept her lonely way, 

And this was all her cry : 
" Oh ! tell me but if Betrand live, 

And I in peace shall die.'* 

And now she came to a horrible rift 

All in the rock's hard side, 
A bleak and blasted oak o'erspread 

The cavern yawning wide ; 

And pendant from its dismal top 
The deadly night-shade hung, 

The hemlock, and the aconite, 

Across the mouth were flung. 

And all within was dark and drear, 

And all without was calm, 
Yet Gondoline entered, her soul upheld 

By some deep-working charm. 



BALLADS. 105 



And, as she enter'd the cavern wide, 
The moonbeam gleamed pale, 

And she saw a snake on the craggy rock, — 
It clung by its slimy tail. 

Her foot it slipp'd, and she stood aghast, 

She trod on a bloated toad ; 
Yet still, upheld by the secret charm, 

She kept upon her road, 

And now upon her frozen ear 

Mysterious sounds arose, 
So, on the mountain's piny top, 

The blustering North-wind blows. 

Then furious peals of laughter loud 

Were heard with thundering sound, 

Till they died away, in soft decay, 

Low whispering o'er the ground. 

Yet still the maiden onward went, 

The charm yet onward led, 
Though each big glaring bail of sight 

Seem'd bursting from her head. 

But now a pale blue light she saw, 

It from a distance came, 
She followed, till upon her sight, 

Burst full a flood of flame. 

She stood appall'd ; yet still the charm 

Upheld her sinking soul, 
Yet each bent knee the other smote, 

And each wild eye did roll. 

And such a sight as she saw there, 

No mortal saw before, 
And such a sight as she saw there, 

No mortal shall see more. 



106 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

A burning caldron stood in the midst, 
The flame was fierce and high, 

And all the cave so wide and long, 
Was plainly seen thereby. 

And round about the caldron stout 
Twelve withered witches stood : 

Their waists were bound with living snakes, 
And their hair was stiff with blood. 

Their hands were gory, too ; and red 
And fiercely flamed their eyes; 

And they were muttering indistinct 
Their hellish mysteries. 

And suddenly they joined their hands, 

And uttered a joyous cry, 
And round about the caldron stout 

They danced right merrily. 

Amd now they stopt ; and each prepared 

To tell what she had done, 
Since last the Lady of the night, 

Her waning course had run. 

Behind a rock stood Gondoline, 

Thick weeds her face did veil, 

And she lean'd fearful forwarder, 
To hear the dreadful tale. 

The first arose ; She said she'd seen 

Rare sport, since the blind cat mew'd ; 

She'd been to sea, in a leaky sieve, 
And a jovial storm had brew'd. 

She call'd around the winged winds, 

And raised a devilish rout ; 
And she laugh 'd so loud, the peals were heard 

Full fifteen leagues about. 



BALLADS. 107 


She said there was a little bark 


Upon the roaring wave, 


And there was a woman there who'd been 


To see her husband's grave. 


And she had got a child in her arms, 


It was her only child, 


And oft its little infant pranks 


Her heavy heart beguiled. 


And there was too in that same bark, 


A father and his son : 


The lad was sickly, and the sire 


Was old, and woe-begone. 


And when the tempest waxed strong, 


And the bark could no more it 'bide, 


She said, it was jovial fun to hear 


How the poor devils cried. 


The mother clasp'd her orphan child 


Unto her breast, and wept : 


And sweetly folded in her arms, 


The careless baby slept. 


And she told how, in the shape o' the wind, 


As manfully it roar'd, 


She twisted her hand in the infants hair, 


And threw it overboard. 


And to have seen the mother's pang's, 


'Twas a glorious sight to see ; 


The crew could scarcely hold her down 


From jumping in the sea. 


The hag held a lock of the hair in her hand 


And it was soft and fair ; 


It must have been a lovely child, 


To have had such lovely hair. 



108 HENEY KIEKE WHITE S POEMS. 

And she said, the father in his arms 

He held his sickly son, 
And his dying throes they fast arose, 

His pains were nearly done. 

And she throttled the youth with her sinewy hands 
And his face grew deadly blue ; 

And the father he tore his thin gray hair, 
And kiss'd the livid hue. 

And then she told, how she bored a hole 

In the bark, and it fillM away ; 
And 'twas rare to hear how some did swear, 

And some did vow, and pray. 

The man and woman they soon were dead, 
The sailors their strength did urge ; 

But the billows that beat were their winding-sheet, 
And the winds sung their funeral dirge. 

She threw the infant's hair in the fire, 

The red flame flamed high, 
And round about the caldron stout 

They danced right merrily. 

The second begun : she said she had done 
The task that Queen Hecat' had set her, 

And that the devil, the father of evil, 
Had never accomplished a better. 

She said there was an aged woman, 

And she had a daughter fair, 
Whose evil habits fill'd her heart 

With misery and care. 

The daughter had a paramour, 

A wicked man was he, 
And oft the woman, him against, 

Did murmur grievously. 



BALLADS. 109 



And the hag had worked the daughter up 

To murder her old mother, 
That then she might seize on all her goods 

And wanton with her lover. 

And one night as the old woman 

Was sick and ill in bed, 
And pondering sorely on the life 

Her wicked daughter led. 

She heard her footstep on the floor, 

And she raised her palid head, 
And she saw her daughter, with a knife, 

Approaching to her bed ; 

And said, " My child, I'm very ill, 

I have not long to live ; 
Now kiss my cheek, that ere I die 

Thy sins I may forgive." 

And the murderess bent to kiss her cheek, 
And she lifted the sharp, bright knife, 

And the mother saw her fell intent, 
And hard she begged for life. 

But prayers would nothing her avail, 
And she screamed loud with fear ; 

But the house was lone, and the piercing screams 
Could reach no human ear. 

And though that she was sick, and old, 
She struggled hard, and fought ; 

The murderess cut three fingers through 
Ere she could reach her throat. 

And the hag she held the fingers up, 

The skin was mangled sore, 
And they all agreed a nobler deed 

"Was never done before. 



110 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

And she threw the fingers in the fire, 
The red flame flamed high, 

And round about the caldron stout 
The j danced right merrily. 

The third arose : she said she'd been 

To Holy Palestine ; 
And seen more blood in one short day, 

Than they had all seen in nine. 

Now Gondoline, with fearful steps, 
Drew nearer to the flame, 

For much she dreaded now to hear 
Her hapless lover's name. 

The hag related then the sports 

Of that eventful day, 
When on the w T ell- contested field 

Full fifteen thousand lay. 

She said, that she in human gore 
Above the knees did wade, 

And that no tongue could truly tell 
The tricks she there had played. 

There was a gallant-featured youth, 
Who like a hero fought : 

He kissed a bracelet on his wrist, 
And every danger sought. 

And in a vassal's garb disguised 
Unto the knight she sues, 

And tells him she from Britain comes, 
And brings unwelcome news. 

That three days ere she had embark' d, 

His love had given her hand, 
Unto a wealthy Thane : — and thought 
Him dead in holy land. 



BALLADS. Ill 



And to have seen how he did writh 

When this her tale she told, 
It would have made a wizard's blood 

Within his heart run cold. 

Then fierce he spurred his warrior steed, 

And sought the battle's bed : 
And soon all mangled o'er with wounds 

He on the cold turf bled 

And from his smoking corse, she tore 

His head, half clove in two, 
She ceased, and from beneath her garb, 
The bloody trophy drew. 

The eyes were starting from their socks, 

The mouth it ghastly grinned, 
And there was a gash across the brow, 

The scalp was nearly skinned. 

'Twas Bertram d's Head ! W T ith a terrible scream, 

The maiden gave a spring, 
And from her fearful hiding-place 

She fell into the ring. 

The lights they fled, — the caldron sunk, 

Deep thunders shook the dome, 
And hollow peals of laughter came 

Resounding through the gloom. 

Insensible the maiden lay 

Upon the hellish ground : 
And still mysterious sounds were heard 

At intervals around. 

She woke, — she half arose, — and wild, 

She cast a horrid glare, 
The sounds had ceased, the lights had fled, 

And all was stillness there. 



112 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 

And through an awning in the rock, 
The moon it sweetly shone, 

And showed a river in the cave 
Which dismally did moan. 

The stream was black, it sounded deep 
As it rushed the rocks between, 

It offered well, for madness fired 
The breast of Gondoline. 

She plunged in, the torrent moaned 
With its accustomed sound 

And hollow peals of laughter loud 
Again rebellowed round. 

The maid was seen no more. — But oft 
Her ghost is known to glide, 

At midnight's silent, solemn hour, 
Along the ocean's side. 



A BALLAD. 

Be hushed, be hushed, ye bitter winds, 

Ye pelting rains a little rest ; 
Lie still, lie still, ye busy thoughts, 

That wring with grief my aching breast. 

Oh, cruel was my faithless love, 
To triumph o'er an artless maid : 

Oh, cruel was my faithless love, 

To leave the breast by him betrayed. 

When exiled from my native home, 
He should have wiped the bitter tear : 

Nor left me faint and lone to roam, 
A heart-sick weary wanderer here. 

My child moans sadly in my arms, 
The winds they will not let it sleep ; 

Ah, little knows the helpless babe, 

What makes its wretched mother weep \ 



BALLADS. H3 



Now lie thee still, my infant dear, 
I cannot bear thy sobs to see ; 

Harsh is thy father, little one, 
And never will he shelter thee. 

Oh, that T were but in my grave, 

And winds were piping o'er me loud, 

And thou, my poor, my orphan babe, 
Wert nestling in thy mother's shroud. 



SONGS. 



SONG. 

Written at the Age of Fourte&n. 

I. 

Softly, softly, blow, ye breezes, 

Gently o'er my Edwy fly ! 
Lo ! he slumbers, slumbers sweetly ; 
Softly, zephyrs, pass him by ! 
My love is asleep, 
He lies by the deep, 
All along where the salt waves sigh. 

ii. 

I have cover'd him with rushes, 

Water-flags, and branches dry. 
E dwy , long have been thy slumbers ; 
Edwy, Edwy, ope thine eye ! 
My love is asleep, 
He lies by the deep, 
All along where the salt waves sigh. 

in. 

Still he sleeps ; he will not waken, 

Fastly closed is his eye ; 
Paler is his cheek, and chiller 
Than the icy moon on high. 
Alas ! he is dead, 
He has chose his deathbed 
All along where the salt waves sigh. 



SONGS. 115 



Is it, is it so, my Edwy ? 

Will thy slumbers never fly ? 
Couldst thou think I would survive thee ? 
No, my love, thou bidst me die. 
Thou bidst me seek 
Thy death-bed bleak 
All along where the salt waves sigh. 

v. 

I will gently kiss thy cold lips, 

On thy breast I'll lay my head, 
And the winds shall sing our death-dirge, 
And our shroud the waters spread ; 
The moon will smile sweet, 
And the wild wave will beat, 
Oh ! so softly o'er our lonely bed. 



THE WANDERING BOY. 

A Song, 
I. 
"When the winter wind whistles along the wild moor, 
And the cottager shuts on the beggar his door ; 
"When the chilling tear stands in my comfortless eye, 
Oh, how hard is the lot of the wandering boy ! 

ii. 
The winter is cold, and I have no vest, 
And my heart it is cold as it beats in my breast ; 
No father, no mother, no kindred have I, 
For I am a parentless wandering boy. 



Yet I once had a home, and I once had a sire, 
A mother, who granted each infant desire ; 
Our cottage it stood in a wood embower'd vale, 
Where the ringdove would warble its sorrowful tale. 



116 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



But my father and mother were summon'd away, 
And they left me to hardhearted strangers a prey ; 
I fled from their rigour with many a sigh, 
And now I'm a poor little wandering "boy. 

v. 

The wind it is keen, and the snow loads the gale, 
And no one will list to my innocent tale ; 
I'll go to the grave where my parents both lie, 
And death shall befriend the poor wandering boy. 



PASTORAL SONG. 

Come, Anna ! come, the morning dawns, 

Faint streaks of radiance tinge the skies ; 
Come, let us seek the dewy lawns, 
And watch the early lark arise ; 
While nature clad in yesture gay, 
Hails the loved return of day. 

Our flocks that nip the scanty blade 

Upon the moor, shall seek the vale ; 
And then secure beneath the shade, 
We'll listen to the throstle's tale; 
And watch the silver clouds above, 
As o'er the azure vault they rove. 

Come, Anna! come, and bring thy lute, 

That with its tones, so softly sweet, 
In cadence with my mellow flute, 

We may beguile the noon-tide heat ; 
While near the mellow bee shall join, 
To raise a harmony divine. 

And then at eve, when silence reigns, 
Except when heard the beetle's hum 
We'll leave the sober-tinted plains, 



SOXGS. 117 

To these sweet heights again we'll come ; 
And thou to thy soft lute shalt play 
A solemn vesper to departing day. 



SONG. 

BY WALLER. 

A lady of Cambridge lent Waller's Poems to the Author, and when he returned them 
to her, she discovered an additional stanza written by him at the bottom of the 
song here copied. 

Go, lovely rose ! 
Tell her that wastes her time and me, 

That now she knows, 
When I resemble her to thee, 
How sweet and fair she seems to be. 

Tell her that's young, 
And shuns to have her graces spied 

That hadst thou sprung 
In deserts, where no men abide, 
Thou must have uncommended died. 

Small is the worth 
Of beauty from the light retired ; 

Bid her come forth, 
Suffer herself to be desired, 
And not blush so to be admired. 

Then die, that she 
The common fate of all things rare 

May read in thee ; 
How small a part of time they share, 
That are so wondrous sweet, and fair. 



[Yet, though thou facie, 
From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise ; 

And teach the maid, 
That goodness Time's rude hand defies, 
That virtue lives when beauty dies.] 

H. K. WHITE. 



118 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS, 

THE WONDERFUL JUGGLER. 

A Song. 

Come all ye true hearts, who old England to save, 
Now shoulder the musket, or plough the rough wave, 
I will sing you a song of a wonderful fellow, 
Who has ruined Jack Pudding, and broke Punchinello. 
Derry down, down, high derry down. 

This juggler is little, and ugly, and black, 

But, like Atlas, he stalks with the world at his back ; 

'Tis certain, all fear of the devil he scorns ; 

Some say they are cousins ! we know he wears horns. 

Derry down. 

At hop, skip, and jump, who so famous as he ; 
He hopp'd o'er an army, he skipp'd o'er the sea ; 
And he jumped from the desk of a village attorney 
To the throne of the Bourbons — a pretty long journey. 

Derry down. 

He tosses up kingdoms the same as a ball, 
And his cup is so fashion'd it catches them all ; 
The Pope and Grand Turk have been heard to declare 
His skill at the long bow has made them both stare. 

Derry down. 

He has shown off his tricks in France, Italy, Spain ; 
And Germany too knows his legerdemain ; 
So hearing John Bull has a taste for strange sights, 
He's coming to London to put us to rights. 

Derry down. 

To encourage his puppets to venture this trip, 
He has built them such boats as can conquer a ship ; 
With a gun of good metal, that shoots out so far, 
It can silence the broadsides of three men-of-war. 

Derry down. 



SONGS. 119 

This new Katterfelto, his show to complete, 
Means his boats should all sink as thej pass by our fleet ; 
Then, as under the ocean their course they steer right on. 
They can pepper their foes from the bed of Old Triton. 

Derry down. 

If this project should fail, he has others in store ; 
Wooden horses, for instance, may bring them safe o'er ; 
Or the genius of France (as the Moniteur tells) 
May order balloons, or provide diving bells. 

Derry down. 

When Philip of Spain fitted out his Armada, 
Britain saw his designs, and could meet her invader ; 
But how to greet Bonny she never will know, 
If he comes in the style of a fish or crow. 

Derry down. 

Now if our rude tars will so crowd up the seas, 
That his boats have not room to go down when they please, 
Can't he wait till the channel is quite frozen over, 
And a stout pair of skates will transport him to Dover. 

Derry down. 

How welcome he'll be, it were needless to say ; 
Neither he nor his puppets shall e'er go away ; 
I am sure at his heels we shall constantly stick, 
Till we know he has played off his very last trick. 

Derry down, down, high derry down- 



THE SHIPWRECKED SOLITARY'S SONG, 

TO THE NIGHT. 

Thou, spirit of the spangled night ! 
I woo thee from the watch-tower high, 
Where thou dost sit to guide the bark 
Of lonely mariner. 



120 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

The winds are whistling o'er the wolds, 
The distant main is moaning low ; 
Come, let us sit and weave a song — 
A melancholy song ! 

Sweet is the scented gale of morn, 
And sweet the noontide's fervid beam, 
But sweeter far the solemn calm 

That marks thy mournful reign. 

I've passed here many a lonely year, 

And never human voice have heard : 

I've pass'd here many a lonely year, 

A solitary man. 

And I have linger'd in the shade, 
From sultry noon's hot beam. And I 
Have knelt before my wicker door, 
To sing my ev'ning song. 

And I have hail'd the gray morn high, 
On the blue mountain's misty brow, 
And try to tune my little reed 

To hymns of harmony. 

But never could I tune my reed, 
At morn, or noon, or eve so sweet, 
As when upon the ocean shore 

I hail'd thy star-beam mild. 

The day-spring brings not joy to me, 
The moon it whispers not of peace ; 
But oh ! when darkness robes the heav'ns, 
My woes are mix'd with joy. 

And then I talk, and often think 
Aerial voices answer me ; 
And oh ! I am not then alone — 
A solitary man. 



SONGS. 121 



And when the blust'ring winter winds 
Howl in the woods that clothe my cave, 
I lay me on the lonely mat, 

And pleasant are my dreams. 

And fancy gives me back my wife ; 
And fancy gives me back my child ; 
She gives me back my little home, 
And all its placid joys. 

Then hateful is the morning hour, 
That calls me from the dream of bliss, 
To find myself still lone, and hear 

The same dull sounds again. 

The deep-toned winds, the moaning sea, 
The whisp'ring of the boding trees, 
The brook's eternal flow, and oft 

The Condor's hollow scream. 



THE SAVOYARD'S RETURN. 
I. 

Oh, yonder is the well-known spot, 

My dear, my long-lost native home ! 
Oh ! welcome is yon little cot, 

Where I shall rest no more to roam! 
Oh ! I have travelled far and wide, 

O'er many a distant foreign land; 
Each place, each province I have tried, 

And sung and danced my saraband. 
But all their charms could not prevail, 
To steal my heart from yonder vale, 

ii. 

Of distant climes the false report 
It lured me from my native land ; 

It bade me rove — my sole support 
My cymbals and my saraband. 



122 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

The woody dell, the hanging rock, 

The chamois skipping o'er the heights ; 
The plain adorned with many a flock, 
And, oh ! a thousand more delights, 
That grace yon dear beloved retreat, 
Have backward won my weary feet. 



Now safe returned, with wandering tired, 

No more my little home I'll leave ; 
And many a tale of what I've seen 

Shall while away the winter's eve. 
Oh ! I have wandered far and wide, 

O'er many a distant foreign land ; 
Each place, each province I have tried, 

And sung and danced my saraband ; 
But all their charms could not prevail, 
To steal my heart from yonder vale. 



THE LULLABY 

OF A FEMALE COTvVICT TO HER CHILD, THE NIGHT PREVIOUS 
TO EXECUTION, 

* Sleep, baby mine, enkerchieft on my bosom, 
Thy cries they pierce again my bleeding breast ; 

Sleep, baby mine, not long thou'lt have a mother, 
To lull thee fondly in her arras to rest. 

Baby, why dost thou keep this sad complaining, 
Long from mine eyes have kindly slumbers fled ; 

Hush, hush, my babe, the night is quickly waning, 
And I would fain compose my aching head. 

Poor wayward wretch ! and who will heed thy weeping, 
"When soon an outcast on the world thou'lt be : 

* Sir Philip Sidney lias a poem beginning, •« Sleep, "baby mine. 



SONGS. 123 

Who then will soothe thee, when thy mother's sleeping, 
In her low grave of shame and infamy ! 

Sleep, baby mine. — To-morrow I must leave thee, 
And I would snatch an interval of rest ; 

Sleep these last moments, ere the laws bereave thee, 
For never more thou'lt press a mother's breast 



CANZONET. 
I. 
Maiden ! wrap thy mantle round thee, 

Cold the rain beats on thy breast : 
Why should horror's voice astound thee ? 
Death can bid the wretched rest ! 
All under the tree 
Thy bed may be, 
And thou mayst slumber peacefully, 

ii. 
Maiden ! once gay pleasure knew thee ; 

Now thy cheeks are pale and deep : 
Love has been a felon to thee ; 
Yet poor maiden do not weep ; 
There's rest for thee 
All under the tree, 
Where thou wilt sleep most peacefully. 



MELODY. 



Inserted in a collection of selected and original Songs, published by 
the Rev. J. Plumptre, of Clare Hall, Cambridge. 

I. 
Yes, once more that dying strain, 

Anna, touch thy lute for me ; 
Sweet, when pity's tones complain, 

Doubly sweet is melody. 



124 HENRY KIRKE WHITE' S POEMS. 

II. 

While the Virtues thus inweave 
Mildly soft the thrilling song, 

Winter's long and lonesome eve, 
Glides unfelt, unseen along. 



Thus when life hath stolen away, 
And the wintry night is near ; 

Thus shall Virtue's friendly ray, 
Age's closing evening cheer. 



SONNETS. 



SONNET I. 

To the river Trent. — Written on recovery from sickness. 

Once more, Trent ! along thy pebbly marge 

A pensive invalid, reduced and pale, 
From the close sick-room newly let at large, 
Woos to bis wan-worn cheek the pleasant gale. 
Oh ! to his ear how musical the tale 

Which fills with joy the throstle's little throat ! 
And all the sounds w T hich on the fresh breeze sail, 

How wildly novel on his senses float ! 
It was on this, that many a sleepless night, 

As, lone, he watched the taper's sickly gleam, 
And at his casement heard, with wild affright, 

The ow T l's dull wing, and melancholy scream, 
On this he thought, this, this his sole desire, 
Thus once again to hear the warbling woodland choir. 



SONNET II. 
Give me a cottage on some Cambrian wild, 

Where, far from cities, I may spend my days : 
And, by the beauties of the scene beguiled, 

May pity man's pursuits, and shun his ways. 
While on the rock I mark the browsing goat, 

List to the mountain torrent's distant noise, 
Or the hoarse bittern's solitary note, 

I shall not want the world's delusive joys ; 
But, with my little scrip, my book, my lyre, 



126 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Shall think my lot complete, nor covet more ; 
And when, with time, shall wane the vital fire, 

I'll raise my pillow on the desert shore, 
And lay me down to rest where the wild wave 
Shall make sweet music o'er my lonely grave. 



SONNET III * 

Supposed to have been addressed by a Female Lunatic to a Lady, 
Lady, thou weepest for the Maniac's woe, 

And thou art fair,, and thou, like me art young, 
Oh may thy bosom never, never know 

The pangs with which my wretched heart is wrung. 
I had a mother once — a brother too — 

(Beneath yon yew my father rests his head :) 
I had a lover once, — and kind, and true, 

But mother, brother, lover, all are fled ! 
Yet, whence the tear, which dims thy lovely eye ? 

Oh ! gentle lady — not for me thus weep, 
The green sod soon upon my breast will lie, 

And soft and sound will be my peaceful sieep. 
Go thou, and pluck the roses while they bloom — 

My hopes lie buried in the silent tomb. 



SONNET IV. 

Supposed to be written by the unhappy Poet Dermody, in a storm* 
while on board a ship in His Majesty's service. 

Lo ! o'er the welkin the tempestuous clouds 
Successive fly, and the loud-piping wind 

Rocks the poor sea-boy on the dripping shrouds, 
While the pale pilot o'er the helm reclined, 

Lists to the changeful storm : and as he plies 
His wakeful task, he oft bethinks him sad, 
Of wife, and little home, and chubby lad, 

* This quatorzain had its rise from an elegant sonnet, " occasioned 
"by seeing a young female lunatic," written by Mrs Lofft, and pub- 
lished in the «* Monthly Mirror." 



SONNETS. 127 



And the half- strangled tear bedews his eyes ; 
I, on the deck, musing on themes forlorn, 

View the drear tempest, and the yawning deep, 
Nought dreading in the green sea's caves to sleep, 
For not for me shall wife, or children mourn, 
And the wild winds will ring my funeral knell, 
Sweetly as solemn peal of pious passing-bell. 



SONNET V. 

The winter traveller. 

God help thee, traveller on thy journey far ; 
The wind is bitter keen, — the snow o'erlays 
The hidden pits, and dangerous hollow ways, 
And darkness will involve thee. — No kind star 
To-night will guide thee, Traveller, — and the war 
Of winds and elements on thy head will break, 
And in thy agonizing ear the shriek 
Of spirits howling on their stormy car, 
Will often ring appalling — I portend 
A dismal night — and on my wakeful bed 
Thoughts, Traveller, of thee, will fill my head, 
And him, who rides where wind and waves contend, 
And strives, rude cradled on the seas, to guide 
His lonely bark through the tempestuous tide. 



SONNET VI. 

By Capel Lqfft, Esq. ' 

[This Sonnet was addressed to the Author of this volume, and was 
occasioned by several little quatorzains, misnomered sonnets 
which he published in the " Monthly Mirror." He begs leave to 
return his thanks to the much respected writer for the permission 
so politely granted to insert it here, and for the good opinion he 
has been pleased to express of his productions.] 

Ye whose aspirings court the muse of lays, 

" Severest of those orders which belong, 

Distinct and separate, to Delphic song," 
"Why shun the Sonnet's undulating maze ? 



128 HENKY KIKKE WHITE S POEMS. 

And why its name, boast of Petrarchian days, 

Assume, its rules disown'd ? whom from the throng 
The Muse selects, their ear the charm obeys 
Of its full harmony : — they fear to wrong 
The Sonnet, by adorning with a name 

Of that distinguished import, lays, though sweet, 
Yet not in magic texture taught to meet 
Of that so varied and peculiar frame. 
Oh think ! to vindicate its genuine praise 
Those it beseems, whose Lyre a favouring impulse sways. 



SONNET VII. 

Mecantatory, in reply to the foregoing Elegant Admonition. 

Let the sublimer Muse, who, wrapt in night, 
Hides on the raven pennons of the storm, 
Or o'er the field, with purple havoc warm, 

Lashes her steeds, and sings along the fight ; 

Let her, whom more ferocious strains delight, 
Disdain the plaintive Sonnet's little form, 
And scorn to its wild cadence to conform, 

The impetuous tenor of her hardy flight. 

But me, far lowest of the sylvan train, 

Who wake the wood-nymphs from the forest shade 
With wildest song ; — Me, much behoves thy aid 

Of mingled melody, to grace my strain, 

And give it power to please, as soft it flows 

Through the smooth murmurs of thy frequent close. 



SONNET VIIL 

On hearing the sounds of an u$Holian harp. 

So ravishingly soft upon the tide 
Of the enfuriate gust, it did career, 
It might have soothed its rugged charioteer, 

And sunk him to a zephyr ; — then it died, 

Melting in melody : — and I descried 

Borne to some wizard stream, the form appear 
Of Druid sage, who on the far -off ear 



SONNETS. 129 



Poured his lone song, to which the surge replied : 
Or thought I heard the hapless pilgrim's knell, 
Lost in some wild enchanted forest's bounds, 
By unseen beings sung ; or are these sounds 
Such as, 'tis said, at night are known to swell 
By startled shepherd on the lonely heath, 
Keeping his night-watch sad, portending death ? 



SONNET IX. 

What art thou, Mighty One ! and where thy seat? 

Thou broodest on the calm that cheers the lands. 

And thou dost bear within thine awful hands, 
The rolling thunders and the lightnings fleet. 
Stern on thy dark- wrought car of cloud, and wind, 

Thou guidest the northern storm at night's dead 
noon, 

Or on the red wing of the fierce Monsoon, 
Disturb'st the sleeping giant of the Ind. 
In the drear silence of the polar span 

Dost thou repose ? or in the solitude 
Of sultry tracts, where the lone caravan 
Hears nightly howl the tiger's hungry brood ? 
Vain thought ! the confines of his throne to trace, 
Who glows through all the fields of boundless space. 



TO CAPEL LOFFT, Esq. 

Lofft, unto thee, one tributary song, 

The simple Muse, admiring, fain would bring ; 
She longs to lisp thee to the listening throng, 

And with thy name to bid the woodlands ring. 
Fain would she blazon all thy virtues forth, 

Thy warm philanthropy, thy justice mild, 
Would say how thou didst foster kindred worth, 

And to thy bosom snatched misfortune's child : 



130 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Firm she would paint thee, with becoming zeal, 
Upright, and learned, as the Pylian sire, 
Would say how sweetly thou couldst sweep the lyre, 

And show thy labours for the public weal, 
Ten thousand virtues tell with joys supreme, 
But ah ! she shrinks abashed before the arduous theme. 



TO THE MOON. 

Written in November. 
Sublime, emerging from the misty verge 
Of the horizon dim, thee, Moon, I hail, 

As sweeping o'er the leafless grove, the gale 
Seems to repeat the year's funereal dirge. 
Now Autumn sickens on the languid sight, 

And falling leaves bestrew the wanderer's way, 
Now unto thee, pale arbitress of night, 

With double joy my homage do I pay. 

When clouds disguise the glories of the day. 
And stern November sheds her boisterous blight, 

How doubly sweet to mark the moony ray 
Shoot through the mist from the ethereal height, 

And, still unchanged, back to the memory bring 

The smiles Favonian of life's earliest spring. 



Written at the Grave of a Friend. 

Fast from the West the fading day-streaks fly, 

And Ebon night assumes her solemn sway ; 
Yet here alone, unheeding time, I lie, 

And o'er my friend still pour the plaintive lay. 
Oh ! 'tis not long since, George, with thee I woo'd 

The maid of musings by yon moaning wave ; 
And hailed the moon's mild beam, which now renewed 

Seems sweetly sleeping on thy silent grave ! 
The busy world pursues its boisterous way, 

The noise of revelry still echoes round ; 






S0XXET3. 131 



Yet I am sad while all beside is gay ; 

Yet still I weep o'er thy deserted mound. 
Oh ? that like thee I might bid sorrow cease, 
And 'neath the green-sward sleep — the sleep of peace. 



TO MISFORTUNE. 

Misfortune, I am young, — my chin is bare, 

And I have wondered much when men have told 
How youth was free from sorrow and from care, 

That thou shouidst dwell with me, and leave the old. 
Sure dost not like me ! — Shrivelled hag of hate, 

My phiz, and thanks to thee, is sadly long ; 

I am not either, Beldame, over strong ; 
Nor do I wish at all to be thy mate, 
For thou, sweet Fury, art my utter hate, 
Nay, shake not thus thy miserable pate ; 
I am yet young, and do not like thy face ; 
And least thou shouidst resume the wild-goose chase, 
I'll tell thee something all thy heat to assuage, 
Thou wilt not hit my fancy in my age. 



As thus oppressed with many a heavy care, 
(Though young yet sorrowful), I turn my feet 
To the dark w T oodland, — longing much to greet 
The form of peace, if chance she sojourn there ; 
Deep thought and dismal, verging to despair, 

Fills my sad breast ; and tired with this vain coil, 
I shrink dismayed before life's upland toil. 
And as amid the leaves the evening air, 
Whispers still melody, — I think ere long, 

When I no more can hear, these woods will speak ; 
And then a sad smile plays upon my cheek, 
And mournful fantasies upon me throng, 
And I do ponder with most strange delight, 
On the calm slumbers of the dead man's night. 



132 HENKY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



TO APRIL. 

Emblem of life ! see changeful April sail 

In varying vest along the shadowy skies, 
Now, bidding Summer's softest zephyrs rise, 
Anon, recalling Winter's stormy gale, 
And pouring from the cloud her sudden hail ; 

Then smiling through the tear that dims her eyea, 
While Iris, with her braid the welkin dyes. 
Promise of sunshine not so prone to fail. 
So, to us sojourners in life's low vale, 
The smiles of fortune flatter to deceive, 
While still the Fates the web of Misery weave. 
So Hope exultant spreads her aery sail, 
And from the pleasant bloom, the soul conveys, 
To distant summers, and far happier days. 



Ye unseen spirits, whose wild melodies ; 
At evening rising slow, yet sweetly clear, 
Steal on the musing poet's pensive ear, 

As by the wood-spring stretched supine he lies ; 

When he who now invokes you, low is laid, 

His tired frame resting on the earth's cold bed ; 

Hold ye your nightly vigils o'er his head, 
And chant a dirge to his reposing shade ! 

For he was wont to love your madrigals ; 

And often by that haunted stream that laves 
The dark sequestered woodland's inmost caves, 

Would sit and listen to the dying falls, 

Till the full tear would quiver in his eye, 

And his big heart would heave with mournful ecstacy. 



SONNETS. 133 



TO A TAPER. 

'Tis midnight. — On the globe dead slumber sits. 

And all is silence — in the hour of sleep ; 
Save when the hollow gust, that swells bj fits, 

In the dark wood roars fearfully and deep. 
I wake alone to listen and to weep, 

To watch, my taper, thy pale beacon burn ; 
And, as still memory does her vigils keep, 
To think of days that never can return. 
By thy pale ray I raise my languid head, 

My eye surveys the solitary gloom, 
And the sad meaning tear, unmixt with dread, 
Tells thou dost light me to the silent tomb. 
Like thee I wane ; like thine my life's last ray 
Will fade in loneliness, unwept, away. 



Yes, 'twill be over soon. — This sickly dream 

Of life will vanish from my feverish brain ; 
And death my wearied spirit will redeem 

From this wild region of unvaried pain. 
Yon brook will glide as softly as before, — 

Yon landscape smile, — yon golden harvest grow,- 
Yon sprightly lark on mounting wing will soar, 

When Henry's name is heard no more below. 
I sigh when all my youthful friends caress, 

They laugh in health, and future evils brave ; 
Them shall a wife and smiling children bless, 

While I am mouldering in my silent grave. 
God of the just, — Thou gavest the bitter cup ; 
I bow to thy behest, and drink it up. 



134 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 



TO CONSUMPTION. 

Gently, most gently, on thy victim's head, 
Consumption, lay thine hand ! — let me decay, 
Like the expiring lamp, unseen, away, 

And softly go to slumber with the dead. 

And if 'tis true what holy men have said, 
That strains angelic oft foretell the day 
Of death, to those good men who fall thy prey, 

O let the aerial music round my bed, 

Dissolving sad in dying symphony, 

Whisper the solemn warning in mine ear ; 

That I may bid my weeping friends good bye. 
Ere I depart upon my journey drear : 

And smiling faintly on the painful past, 

Compose my decent head, and breathe my last. 



Translated from the French ofM. Desbarreaux* 

Thy judgments, Lord, are just ; thou lovest to wear 

The face of pity, and of love divine ; 
But mine is guilt — thou must not, canst not, spare, 

While Heaven is true, and equity is thine. 
Yes, oh, my God ! — such crimes as mine, so dread, 

Leave but the choice of punishment to thee ; 
Thy interest calls for judgment on my head, 

And even thy mercy dares not plead for me ! 
Thy will be done — since 'tis thy glory's due, 

Did from mine eyes the endless torrents flow ; 
Smite — it is time — though endless death ensue, 

I bless the avenging hand that lays me low. 
But on what spot shall fall thine anger's flood, 
That has not first been drench'd in Christ's atoningblood? 



SONNETS. 135 



SONNET TO MY MOTHER. 

And canst thou, Mother, for a moment think 
That we, thy children, when old age shall shed 
Its blanching honours on thy weary head, 

Could from our best of duties ever shrink ? 

Sooner the sun from his high sphere should sink 
Than we ungrateful, leave thee in that day, 
To pine in solitude thy life away, 

Or shun thee, tottering on the grave's cold brink. 

Banish the thought — where'er our steps may roam, 
O'er smiling plains, or wastes without a tree, 
Still will fond memory point our hearts to thee, 

And paint the pleasures of thy peaceful home ; 
While duty bids us all thy griefs assuage, 
And smooth the pillow of thy sinking age. 



SONNET. 

Sweet to the gay of heart is Summer's smile, 

Sweet the wild music of the laughing Spring ; 
But, ah ! my soul, far other scenes beguile, 

Where gloomy storms their sullen shadows fling. 
Is it for me to strike the Idalian string — 

Raise the soft music of the warbling wire, 
While in my ears the howls of furies ring, 

And melancholy wastes the vital fire ? 
Away with thoughts like these. To some lone cave 

Where howls the shrill blast, and where sweeps the 
wave, 
Direct my steps ; there, in the lonely drear, 

1*11 sit remote from worldly noise, and muse, 

Till through my soul shall Peace her balm infuse, 
And whisper sounds of comfort in mine ear. 



136 HENRY KIKKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



SONNET. 

Quick o'er the wintry waste dart fiery shafts — 

Bleak "blows the blast — now howls — then faintly dies - 
And oft upon its awful wings it wafts 

Thy dying wanderer's distant, feeble cries. 
Now, when athwart the gloom gaunt horror stalks, 

And midnight hags their damned vigils hold, 
The pensive poet 'mid the wild waste walks, 

And ponders on the ills life's paths unfold. 
Mindless of dangers hovering round, he goes, 

Insensible to every outward ill ; 
Yet oft his bosom heaves with rending throes, 

And oft big tears adown his worn cheeks trill. 
Ah ! 'tis the anguish of a mental sore, 
Which gnaws his heart and bids him hope no more. 



SONNET. 



When I sit musing on the chequered past 

(A term much darkened with untimely woes,) 
My thoughts revert to her, for whom still flows 
The tear, though half disowned ; — and binding fast 
Pride's stubborn cheat to my too yielding heart, 
I say to her she robbed me of my rest, 
When that w T as all my wealth, — 'Tis true my breast 
Received from her this wearing lingering smart ; 
Yet ah ! I cannot bid her form depart ; 

Though wronged, I love her — yet in anger love, 
For she was most unworthy. — Then I prove 
Vindictive j oy ; and on my stern front gleams, 
Throned in dark clouds, inflexible * * * 
The native pride of my much injured heart. 



HYMNS. 



HYMN. 






Iii Heaven we shall be purified, so as to be able to endure the 
splendours of the Deity. 



Awake, sweet harp of Judah, wake, 
Retune thy strings for Jesus' sake ; 
"We sing the Saviour of our race, 
The Lamb, our shield and hiding place. 



When God's right arm is bared for war, 
And thunders clothe his cloudy car, 
Where, where, oh where, shall man retire, 
To escape the horrors of his ire ? 

in. 
'Tis he, the Lamb, to him we fly, 
While the dread tempest passes by : 
God sees his Well-beloved's face, 
And spares us in our hiding place. 

IV. 

Thus while we dwell in this low scene. 
The Lamb is our unfailing screen ; 
To Him, though guilty, still we run, 
And God still spares us for his Son. 



138 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



T. 

"While jet we sojourn here below, 
Pollutions still our hearts o'ernow ; 
Fall'n, abject, mean, a sentenced race, 
We deeply need a hiding place. 



Yet, courage ! — days and years will glide, 
And we shall lay these clods aside ; 
Shall be baptized in Jordan's flood, 
And washed in Jesus' cleansing blood. 



Then pure, immortal, sinless, freed, 
We through the Lamb shall be decreed ; 
Shall meet the Father face to face, 
And need no more a hiding place. 

[The last stanza of this Hymn was added extemporaneously by 
the Author, one summer evening, when he was with a few friends 
on the Trent, and singing it, as he was used to do on such occa- 
sions.] 



A HYMN FOR FAMILY WORSHIP. 



Lord, another day is flown, 

And we, a lonely band, 
Are met once more before thy throne, 

To bless thy fostering hand. 



And wilt thou bend a listening ear, 

To praises low as ours ? 
Thou wilt ! for thou dost love to hear 

The song which meekness pours. 



HYMNS. 139 



III. 

And Jesus, thou thy smiles will deign, 

As we before thee pray : 
For thou didst bless the infant train, 

And we are less than they. 

IV. 

let thy grace perform its part, 

And let contention cease ; 
And shed abroad in every heart 

Thine everlasting peace ! 

v. 

Thus chasten'd, cleans'd, entirely thine, 

A flock by Jesus led : 
The sun of Holiness shall shine 

In glory on our head. 

VI. 

And thou wilt turn our wandering feet, 

And thou wilt bless our way ; 
'Till worlds shall fade, and faith shall greet 

The dawn of lasting day. 



A HYMN. 

O Lord, my God, in mercy turn, 
In mercy hear a sinner mourn ! 
To thee I call, to thee I cry, 

leave me, leave me not to die ! 

1 strove against thee, Lord, I know, 

I spurn'd thy grace, I mock'd thy law 
The hour is past — the day's gone by, 
And I am left alone to die. 



140 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

O pleasures past, what are ye now 
But thorns about my bleeding brow ? 
Spectres that hover round my brain, 
And aggravate and mock my pain. 

For pleasure I have given my soul , 
Now, Justice, let thy thunders roll ! 
Now, Vengeance, smile — and with a blow, 
Lay the rebellious ingrate low. 

Yet, Jesus, Jesus ! there I'll cling, 
I'll crowd beneath his sheltering wing ; 
I'll clasp the cross, and holding there, 
Even me, oh bliss ! — His wrath may spare. 






THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM. 



When marshall'd on the nightly plain, 
The glitt'ring host bestud the sky, 

One star alone, of all the train, 

Can fix the sinner's wand'ring eye. 



Hark ! hark ! to God the chorus breaks 
From ev'ry host, from ev'ry gem ; 

But one alone the Saviour speaks. 
It is the star of Bethlehem. 



Once on the raging seas I rode, 

The storm was loud, — the night was dark, 
The ocean yawn'd, — and rudely blow'd 

The wind that toss'd my found'riug bark. 



HYMNS, 14] 



IV. 

Deep horror then my vitals froze, 

Death- struck, I ceased the tide to stem; 

"When suddenly a star arose, 
It was the star of Bethlehem. 

v. 

It was my guide, my light, my all, 
It bade my dark forebodings cease ; 

And through the storm and dangers' thrall, 
It led me to the port of peace. 



Now safely moored — my perils o'er, 
I'll sing, first in night's diadem, 

For ever and for evermore, 

The star ! — the star of Bethlehem ! 



ODES. 



TO AN EARLY PRIMROSE. 
Written at the Age of Thirteen. 

Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire ! 
Whose modest form, so delicately fine, 

Was nursed in whirling storms 

And cradled in the winds. 

Thee, when young Spring first question'd Winter's sway, 
And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight, 

Thee on this bank he threw 

To mark his victory. 

In this low vale, the promise of the year, 
Serene, thou openest to the nipping gale, 

Unnoticed and alone, 

Thy tender elegance. 

So Virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms 
Of chill adversity, in some lone walk 

Of life, she rears her head 

Obscure and unobserved ; 

While every bleaching breeze that on her blows, 
Chastens her spotless purity cf breast, 

And hardens her to bear 

Serene the ills of life. 



ODES. 143 

TO THE MUSE. 

Written at the Age of Fourteen. 



Ill-fated Maid, in whose unhappy train 
Chill poverty and misery are seen, 

Anguish and discontent, the unhappy bane 
Of life, and blackener of each brighter scene ; 

Why to thy votaries dost thou give to feel 
So keenly all the scorns — the jeers of life ? 
Why not endow them to endure the strife 

With apathy's invulnerable steel, 

Or self-content and ease, each torturing wound to heal, 

ii. 

Ah ! who would taste your self-deluding joys, 
That lure the unwary to a wretched doom, 

That bid fair views and flattering hopes arise, 
Then hurl them headlong to a lasting tomb ? 

What is the charm which leads thy victims on, 
To persevere in paths that lead to woe ? 
What can induce them in that route to go, 

In which innumerous before have gone, 

And died in misery, poor and woe-begone ? 



Yet can I ask what charms in thee are found : 
I who have drank from thine ethereal rill, 

And tasted all the pleasures that abound 
Upon Parnassus, loved Aonian hill ? 

I, through whose soul the Muses' strains aye thrill ! 
Oh ! I do feel the spell with which I'm tied ; 

And though our annals fearful stories tell, 
How Savage languish'd, and how Otway died, 
Yet must I persevere, let whate'er will betide. 



144 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



ODE ON DISAPPOINTMENT. 

I. 
Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Not in thy terrors clad ; 
Come in thy meekest, saddest guise ; 
Thy chastening rod but terrifies 
The restless and the bad. 
But I recline 
Beneath thy shrine, 
And round my brow resigned, thy peacefal cypress twine. 

ii. 
Though Fancy flies away 

Before thy hollow tread, 
Yet Meditation in her cell, 
Hears with faint eye, the ling'ring knell, 
That tells her hopes are dead ; 
And though the tear 
By chance appear, 
Yet she can smile, and say, My all was not laid here. 

in. 
Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Though from Hope's summit hurl'd, 
Still, rigid Nurse, thou art forgiven, 
For thou, severe, wert sent from heaven 
To wean me from the world ; 
To turn my eye 
From vanity, 
And point to scenes of bliss that never, never die. 

IV. 

What is this passing scene ? 

A peevish April day ! 
A little sun — a little rain, 
And then night sweeps along the plain, 



ODES. 145 

And all things fade a way. 
Man (soon discuss'd) 
Yields up his trust, 
And all his hopes and fears lie with him in the dust. 

v. 

Oh, what is beauty's power ? 

It flourishes and dies ; 
Will the cold earth its silence break, 
To tell how soft, how smooth a cheek 
Beneath its surface lies ? 
Mute, mute is all 
O'er beauty's fall ; 
Her praise resounds no more when mantled in her pall. 

VI. 

The most belov'd on earth 

Not long survives to-day ; 
So music past is obsolete, 
And yet 'twas sweet, 'twas passing sweet, 
But now 'tis gone away. 
Thus does the shade 
In memory fade, 
When in forsaken tomb the form belov'd is laid. 

VII. 

Then since this world is vain. 

And volatile and fleet, 
Why should I lay up earthly joys, 
Where rust corrupts, and moth destroys, 
And cares and sorrows eat ? 
Why fly from ill 
With anxious skill, 
When soon this hand will freeze, this throbbing heart be 
still? 

VIII. 

Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Thou art not stern to me ; 
Sad Monitress ! I own thy sway, 
A votary sad in early day, 



140 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 

I bend my knee to thee, 
From sun to sun 
My race will run, 
I only bow, and say, My God, thy will be done. 

On another paper are a few lines, written probably in 
the freshness of his disappointment. 

I dream no more— -the vision flies away, 
And Disappointment * * * 

There fell my hopes — I lost my all in this, 
My cherish'd all of visionary bliss. 
Now hope farewell, farewell all joys below ; 
Now welcome sorrow, and now welcome woe : 
Plunge me in glooms * * * 



ODE TO THE HARVEST MOOIST, 



-Cum ruit imbriferum ver : 



Spicea jam campis cum messis inhorruit, et cum 
Frumenta in viridi stipula lactentia turgent. 

* * * * 

Cunct tibi Cererem pubes agrestis adoret. 

Virgil. 

Moon of harvest, herald mild 
Of plenty, rustic labour's child, 
Hail ! oh hail ! I greet thy beam, 
As soft it trembles o'er the stream, 
And gilds the straw-thatch' d hamlet wide, 
Where innocence and peace reside ; 
'Tis thou that glad'st with joy the rustic throng, 
Promptest the tripping dance, th' exhilarating song. 

Moon of harvest, I do love 
O'er the uplands now to rove, 
While thy modest ray serene 
Gilds the wide surrounding scene ; 
And to watch thee riding high 
In the blue vault of the sky, 



ODES. 147 

Where no thin vapour intercepts thy ray, 

But in unclouded majesty thou walkest on thy way. 

Pleasing r tis, modest moon ! 
Now the night is at her noon, 
'Neath thy sway to musing lie, 
While around the zephyrs sigh, 
Fanning soft the sun-tann'd wheat; 
Pipen'd by the summer's heat ; 
Picturing all the rustic's joy 
When boundless plenty greets his cye 7 

And thinking soon, 

Oh, modest Moon ! 
How many a female eye will roam 

Along the road, 

To see the load, 
The last dear load of harvest home. 

Storms and tempests, floods and rains, 

Stern despoilers of the plains, 

Hence away, the season flee, 

Foes to light-heart jollity ; 

May no winds careering high, 

Drive the clouds along the sky ; 
But may all nature smile with aspect boon. 
When in the heavens thou show'st thy face, Oh, Harvest 
Moon ! 

'Neath yon lowly roof he lies, 

The husbandman, with sleep-seal'd eyes ; 

He dreams of crowded barns, and round 

The yard he hears the flail resound ; 

Oh ! may no hurricane destroy 

His visionary views of joy. 
God of the winds ! oh, hear his humble prayer, 
And while the moon of harvest shines, thy blust'ring 
whirlwind spare. 

Sons of luxury to you 

Leave I sleep's dull power to woo 



148 HEXRY KIItKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Press } r e still the downy bed, 

While fev'rish dreams surround your head ; 

I will seek the woodland glade, 

Penetrate the thickest shade, 

Wrapt in contemplation's dreams, 

Musing high on holy themes, 

While on the gale 

Shall softly sail 
The nightingale's enchanting tune. 

And oft my eyes 

Shall grateful rise 
To thee, the modest Harvest Moon ! 



ODE. 

Addressed to H. Fuseli, Esq., R.A., on seeing Engravings from 
his designs. 

Mighty Magician ! who on Torneo's brow, 

When sullen tempests wrap the throne of night, 
Art wont to sit and catch the gleam of light 

That shoots athwart the gloom opaque below ; 

And listen to the distant death-shriek long 

From lonely mariner foundering in the deep, 
Which rises slowly up the rocky steep, 

While the weird sisters weave the horrid song : 
Or when along the liquid sky 
Serenely chant the orbs on high, 
Dost love to sit in musing trance 
And mark the northern meteor's dance, 
(While far below the fitful oar 
Flings its faint pauses on the steepy shore,) 
And list the music of the breeze, 
That sweeps by fits the bending seas ; 
And often bears with sudden swell 
The shipwrecked sailor's funeral knell, 
By the spirits sung who keep 
Their night watch on the treacherous deep, 



ODES. 149 

And guide the wakeful helmsman's eye 
To Helice in northern sky ; 
And there upon the rock inclined 
With mighty visions fill'st the mind, 
Such as bound in magic spell 
Him* who grasped the gates of Hell, 
And bursting Pluto's dark domain 
Held to the day the Terrors of his reign. 

Genius of Horror and romantic awe, 

Whose eye explores the secrets of the deep, 
Whose power can bid the rebel fluids creep, 

Can force the inmost soul to own its law ; 
Who shall now, sublimest spirit, 
Who shall now thy wand inherit, 
From himf thy darling child who best 
Thy shuddering images exprest ? 
Sullen of soul, and stern and proud, 
His gloomy spirit spurned the crowd, 
And now he lays his aching head 

In the dark mansion of the silent dead. 



Mighty Magician ! long thy wand has lain 
Buried beneath the unfathomable deep ; 
And oh ! for ever must its efforts sleep, 
May none the mystic sceptre e'er regain ? 
Oh yes, 'tis his ! — Thy other son 
He throws thy dark- wrought Tunic on, 
Fuesslin waves thy wand, — again they rise, 
Again thy wildering forms salute our ravished eyes. 
Him didst thou cradle on the dizzy steep 

Where round his head the volley'd lightnings flung, 
And the loud winds that round his pillow rung 
Woo'd the stern infant to the arms of sleep. 

Or the highest top of Tenerifie, 
Seated the fearless Boy, and bade him look 

Where far below the weather-beaten skiff 
On the gulf bottom of the ocean strook. 

* Dante. f Ibid. 



150 HENEY KIEKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Thou mark'dst him drink with ruthless ear 
The death-sob, and disdaining rest, 
Thou sawest how danger fired his breast, 

And in his young hand couch'd the visionary spear. 
Then Superstition at thy call, 
She bore the boy to Odin's Hall, 
And set before his awe-struck sight 
The savage feast and spectred fight ; 
And summoned from his mountain tomb 
The ghastly warrior son of gloom, 
His fabled runic rhymes to sing 
While fierce Hresvelger flapped his wing ; 
Thou showedst the trains the shepherd sees, 
Laid on the stormy Hebrides, 
Which on the mists of evening gleam 
Or crowd the foaming desert stream ; 
Lastly, her storied hand she waves 
And lays him in Florentian caves ; 
There milder fables, lovelier themes, 
Enwrap his soul in heavenly dreams, 
There pity's lute arrests his ear, 
And draws the half-reluctant tear ; 
And now at noon of night he roves 
Along the embowering moonlight groves, 
And as from many a eavern'd dell 
The hollow wind is heard to swell, 
He thinks some troubled spirit sighs. 
And as upon the turf he lies, 
Where, steeps the silent beam of night, 
He sees below the gliding sprite, 
And hears in fancy's organs sound 
Aerial music warbling round. 

Taste lastly comes and smoothes the whole, 
And breathes her polish o'er his soul ; 
Glowing with wild, yet chastened heat, 
The wondrous work is now complete 
The Poet dreams : — The shadow flies, 
And fainting fast its image dies. 
But lo ! the Painter's magic force 



ODES. 

Arrests the phantom's fleeting course ; 
It lives — it lives — the canvas glows, 
And tenfold vigour o'er it flows. 

The Bard beholds the work achieved, 
And as he sees the shadow rise, 
Sublime before his wandering eyes, 

Starts at the image his own mind conceived. 



151 



ODE. 
Addressed to the Earl of Carlisle, K.G, 

Retired, remote from human noise, 

A humble Poet dwelt serene, 
His lot was lowly, yet his joys 

Were manifold I ween. 
He laid him by the brawling brook 
At eventide to ruminate, 

He watched the swallow swimming round, 

And mused, in reverie profound, 
On wayward man's unhappy state, 
And pondered much, and paused on deeds of ancient date. 

ii. 1. 
"Oh, 'twas not always thus," he cried, 

" There was a time when genius claimed 
Respect from even towering pride, 

Nor hung her head ashamed : 
But now to wealth alone we bow, 
The titled, and the rich alone, 
Are honoured, while meek merit pines, 
On penury's wretched couch reclines, 
Unheeded in his dying moan. 
As, overwhelmed with want and woe, he sinks unknown. 

in. 1. 

Yet was the Muse not always seen 
In poverty's dejected mien, 
Not always did repining rue, 



152 HENRY KIEKB WHITE'S POEMS. 

And misery her steps pursue. 
Time was, when nobles thought their titles graced, 
By the sweet honours of poetic bays, 
When Sidney sung his melting song, 
When Sheffield joined the harmonious throng, 
And Lyttleton attuned to love his lays. 
Those days are gone — alas, for ever gone ! 

No more our nobles love to grace 
Their brows with anadems, by genius won, 
But arrogantly deem the muse as base ; 
How differently thought the sires of this degenerate race ! n 



Thus sang the minstrel : — still at eve 

The upland's woody shades among 
In broken measures did he grieve, 

With solitary song. 
And still his shame was aye the same, 

Neglect had stung him to the core ; 
And he, with pensive joy did love 
To seek the still congenial grove, 

And muse on all his sorrows o'er, 
And vow that he would join the abjured world no more. 

II, 2. 

But human vows, how frail they be ! 

Fame brought Carlisle unto his view, 
And all amazed, he thought to see 

The Augustan age anew. 
Filled with wild rapture, up he rose, 
No more he ponders on the woes, 
Which erst he felt that forward goes, 

Regrets he'd sunk in impotence, 
And hails the ideal day of virtuous eminence. 



Ah ! silly man, yet smarting sore, 
With ills which in the world he bore, 
Again on futile hope to rest, 
An unsubstantial prop at best. 



ODES. 153 

And not to know one swallow makes no summer ! 

Ah ! soon he'll find the brilliant gleam, 
Which flashed across the hemisphere, 
Illumining the darkness there, 

Was but a simple solitary beam, 
While all around remained in customed night. 

Still leaden ignorance reigns serene, 
In the false court's delusive height, 

And only one Carlisle is seen, 
To illume the heavy gloom with pure and steady light. 



TO MY LYRE. 

An Ode, 

I. 
Thou simple Lyre ? — Thy music wild 

Has served to charm the weary hour, 
And many a lonely night has 'guiled, 
When even pain has own'd and smiled., 

Its fascinating power. 



Yet, oh, my Lyre ! the busy crowd 

Will little heed thy simple tones : 
Them, mightier minstrels harping loud 
Engross,— and thou, and I, must shroud 
Where dark oblivion 'thrones. 

in. 
"No hand, thy diapason o'er, 

Well skill' d, I throw with sweep sublime ; 
For me, no academic lore 
Has taught the solemn strain to pour, 

Or build the polish'd rhyme. 

IV. 

Yet thou to Sylvan themes canst soar; 

Thou know'st to charm the ivooclland train ; 



154 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

The rustic swains believe thy power 
Can hush the wild winds when they roar, 
And still the billowy main. 

v. 

These honours, Lyre, we yet may keep, 
I, still unknown, may live with thee, 
And gentle zephyr's wing will sweep 
Thy solemn string, where low I sleep, 
Beneath the alder tree. 



This little dirge will please me more 

Than the full requiem's swelling peal • 
I'd rather than that crowds should sigh 
For me, that from some kindred eye 
The trickling tear should steal. 



Yet dear to me the wreath of bay, 

Perhaps from me debar'd ; 
And dear to me the classic zone, 
Which snatch'd from learning's laboured throne, 

Adorns the accepted bard. 



And O ! if yet 'twere mine to dwell 
Where Cam, or Isis, winds along, 
Perchance, inspired with ardour chaste, 
I yet might call the ear of taste 
To listen to my song. 



Oh ! then, my little friend, the style 

I'd change to happier lays, 
Oh ! then, the cloister' d glooms should smile, 
And through the long, the fretted aisle 

Should swell the note of praise. 



ODES. 155 

GENIUS. 

An Ode, 

I. 1. 

Many there be who, through the vale of life, 

With velvet pace, unnoticed, softly go, 
While jarring discord's inharmonious strife 

Awakes them not to woe. 
By them unheeded, carking care, 
Green-eyed grief, and dull despair ; 
Smoothly they pursue their way, 

With even tenor, and with equal breath ; 
Alike through cloudy, and through sunny day, 

Then sink in peace to death. 

n. 1. 

But ah ! a few there be whom griefs devour, 

And weeping woe, and disappointment keen, 
Repining penury, and sorrow sour, 

And self-consuming spleen. 
And these are Genius' favourites : these 
Know the thought-throned mind to please, 
And from her fleshy seat to draw 

To realms where Fancy's golden orbits roll, 
Disdaining all but 'wildering rapture's law, 

The captivated soul. 

in. 1. 

Genius, from thy starry throne, 

High above the burning zone, 

In radiant robe of light arrayed, 

Oh hear the plaint by thy sad favourite made, 

His melancholy moan. 
He tells of scorn, he tells of broken vows, 

Of sleepless nights, of anguish- ridden days, 
Pangs that his sensibility uprouse 



156 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

To curse his being, and his thirst for praise. 
Thou gavest to him, with treble force to feel, 

The sting of keen neglect, the rich man's scorn, 
And what o'er all does in his soul preside 

Predominant, and tempers him to steel, 
His high indignant pride. 

i. 2. 

Lament not ye, who humbly steal through life, 

That Genius visits not your lowly shed ; 
For ah, what woes and sorrows ever rife, 

Distract his hapless head ! 
For him awaits no balmy sleep, 
He wakes all night, and wakes to weep, 
Or, by his lonely lamp he sits, 

At solemn midnight, when the peasant sleeps, 
In feverish study, and in moody fits 

His mournful vigils keeps. 

it. 2. 

And, oh ! for what consumes his watchful oil ? 

For what does thus he waste life's fleeting breath? 
'Tis for neglect and penury he doth toil, 

'Tis for untimely death. 
Lo ! where, dejected, pale, he lies, 
Despair depicted in his eyes, 
He feels the vital flame decrease, 

He sees the grave, wide yawning for its prey, 
Without a friend to sooth his soul to peace, 

And cheer the expiring ray. 

in. 2. 

By Sulmo's bard of mournful fame, 
By gentle Otway's magic name, 
By him, the youth, who smiled at death, 
And rashly dared to stop his vital breath, 

Will I thy pangs proclaim ; 
For still to misery closely thou'rt allied, 
Though gaudy pageants glitter by thy side, 



ODES. 157 

And far resounding fame. 
What though to thee the dazzled millions bow, 
And to thy posthumous merit bend them low ; 
Though unto thee the monarch looks with awe, 
And thou, at thy flashed car, dost nations draw, 
Yet ah ! unseen behind thee fly 

Corroding anguish, soul-subduing pain, 
And discontent that clouds the fairest sky : 
A melancholy train. 
Yes, Genius, thee a thousand cares await, 
Mocking thy derided state ; 
Thee, chill Adversity will still attend, 
Before whose face flies fast the summer's friend, 
And leaves thee all forlorn ; 
While laden Ignorance rears her head and laughs, 
And fat Stupidity shakes his jolly sides, 
And, while the cup of affluence he quaffs, 

With bee-eyed wisdom, Genius derides, 
Who toils, and every hardship doth outbrave, 
To gain the meed of praise, when he is mouldering in his 
grave. 



TO THE WIND. 

At Midnight. 

Not unfamiliar to mine ear, 
Blasts of the night ! ye howl as now 
My shudd'ring casement loud 
With fitful force ye beat. 
Mine ear has dwelt in silent awe, 
The howling sweep, the sudden rush; 
And when the passing gale 
Pour'd deep the hollow dirge. 
* * # * 



158 HENRY KIKKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



FRAGMENT OF AN ODE TO THE MOON. 



Mild orb, who floatest through the realm of night, 

A pathless wanderer o'er a lonely wild ; 
Welcome to me thy soft and pensive light, 

Which oft in childhood my lone thoughts beguiled. 
Now doubly dear as o'er my silent seat, 
Nocturnal study's still retreat, 
It casts a mournful melancholy gleam, 

And through my lofty casement weaves, 
Dim through the vine's encircling leaves, 
An intermingled beam. 



These feverish dews that on my temples hang, 

This quivering lip, these eyes of dying flame ; 
These the dread signs of many a secret pang, 

These are the meed of him who pants for fame ! 
Pale Moon, from thoughts like these divert my soul: 

Lowly I kneel before thy shrine on high ; 
My lamp expires ; — beneath thy mild control, 

These restless dreams are ever wont to fly. 

Come, kindred mourner, in my breast, 

Soothe these discordant tones to rest, 
And breathe the soul of peace ; 

Mild visitor, I feel thee here, 

It is not pain that brings this tear, 
For thou hast bid it cease, 
Oh ! many a year has passed away, 
Since I beneath thy fairy ray, 
Attuned my infant reed ; 
When wilt thou, Time, those days restore, 
Those happy moments now no more, 
# # * # 

When on the lake's damp marge I lay, 
And marked the northern meteor's dance, 



ODES. 159 



Bland Hope and Fancy, ye were there, 
To inspirate my trance. 

Twin sisters, faintly now ye deign 
Your magic sweets on me to shed, 
In vain your powers are now essayed 

To chase superior pain. 

And art thou fled, thou welcome orb 

So swiftly pleasure flies ; 
So to mankind, in darkness lost, 

The beam of ardour dies, 
Wan moon, thy nightly task is done. 
And now encurtained in the main, 

Thou sinkest into rest ; 
But I, in vain, on thorny bed, 
Shall woo the god of soft repose — 
* * # $ 



TO LOVE. 



Why should I blush to own I love ? 
'Tis Love that rules the realms above. 
Why should I blush to say to all, 
That Virtue holds my heart in thrall ? 

ii. 

Why should I seek the thickest shade, 
Lest Love's dear secret be betrayed ? 
Why the stern brow deceitful move, 
When I am languishing with love ? 

in. 
Is it weakness thus to dwell 
On passion that I dare not tell ? 
Such weakness I would ever prove : 
Tis painful, though His sweet, to love. 



1G0 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



TO CONTEMPLATION, 

Come, pensive sage, who lovest to dwell 
In some retired Lapponian cell, 
Where, far from noise and riot rude, 
Resides sequestered Solitude, 
Come, and o'er my longing soul 
Throw thy dark and russet stole, 
And open to my duteous eyes, 
The volume of thy mysteries. 

I will meet thee on the hill, 

Where, with printless footstep still, 

The Morning, in her buskin gray, 

Springs upon her eastern way ; 

While the frolic zephyrs stir, 

Playing with the gossamer, 

And, on ruder pinions borne, 

Shake the dew-drops from the thorn. 

There, as o'er the fields we pass, 

Brushing with hasty feet the grass, 

We will startle from her nest, 

The lively lark with speckled breast, 

And hear the floating clouds among 

Her gale-transported matin song, 

Or on the upland stile embowered, 

With fragrant hawthorn snowy flowered, 

Will sauntering sit, and listen still, 

To the herdsman's oaten quill, 

Wafted from the plain below ; 

Or the heifers frequent low ; 

Or the milkmaid in the grove, 

Singing of one that died for love. 

Or when the noontide heats oppress, 

We will seek the dark recess, 

Where, in the embowered translucent stream, 

The cattle shun the sultry beam, 



ODES. 161 

And o'er us, on the marge reclined, 
The drowsy fly her horn shall wind, 
While echo, from her ancient oak, 
Shall answer to the woodman's stroke ; 
Or the little peasant's song, 
Wandering lone the glens among, 
His artless lip w^ith berries died, 
And feet through ragged shoes descried. 



But, oh, when evening's virgin queen 
Sits on her fringed throne serene, 
And mingling whispers rising near, 
Steal on the still reposing ear ; 
While distant brooks decaying round, 
Augment the mixed dissolving sound, 
And the zephyr flitting by, 
Whispers mystic harmony, 
We will seek the woody lane, 
By the hamlet, on the plain, 
Where the weary rustic nigh, 
Shall whistle his wild melody, 
And the croaking wicket oft 
Shall echo from the neighbouring croft ; 
And as we trace the green path lone, 
With moss and rank weeds overgrown, 
We will muse on pensive lore, 
Till the full soul brimming o'er, 
Shall in our upturned eyes appear, 
Embodied in a quivering tear. 
Or else, serenely silent, sit 
By the brawling rivulet, 
Which on its calm unruffled breast, 
Rears the old mossy arch impressed, 
That clasps its secret stream of glass, 
Half hid in shrubs and waving grass, 
The wood-nymph's lone secure retreat, 
Unpressed by fawn or syl van's feet, 
We'll watch in Eve's etherial braid, 
The rich vermilion slowly fade ; 



162 HENPY KIPKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Or catch, faint twinkling from afar, 
The first glimpse of the eastern star. 
Fair vesper, mildest lamp of light, 
That heralds in imperial Night : 
Meanwhile upon our wondering ear, 
Shall rise, though low, yet sweetly clear, 
The distant sounds of pastoral lute, 
Invoking soft the sober suit 
Of dimmest darkness — fitting well 
With love, or sorrow's pensive spell, 
(So erst did music's silver tone, 
Wake slumbering Chaos on his throne 
And haply, then with sudden swell, 
Shall roar the distant curfew bell, 
While in the castle's mouldering tower, 
The hooting owl is heard to pour 
Her melancholy song, and scare 
Dull Silence, brooding in the air. 
Meanwhile her dusk and slumbering car, 
Black-suited Night drives on from far, 
And Cynthia's 'merging from her rear, 
Arrests the waxing darkness drear, 
And summons to her silent call 
Sweeping in their airy pall, 
The unshrived ghosts, in fairy trance, 
To join her moonshine morrice-dance ; 
While around the mystic ring, 
The shadowy shapes elastic spring. 
Then with a passing shriek they fry, 
Wrapt in mists along the sky, 
And oft are by the shepherd seen, 
In his lone night watch on the green. 



Then, hermit, let us turn our feet, 

To the low Abbey's still retreat, 

Embowered in the distant glen, 

Far from the haunts of busy men, 

Where, as we sit upon the tomb, 

The glow-worm's light may gild the gloom, 



ODES, 1C3 

And show to fancy's saddest eye, 

Where some lost hero's ashes lie. 

And oh, as through the mouldering arch, 

With ivy filled and weeping larch, 

The night gale whispers sadly clear, 

Speaking dear things to fancy's ear, 

We'll hold communion with the shade ? 

Of some deep-wailing ruined maid — 

Or call the ghost of Spenser down, 

To tell of woe and fortune's frown ; 

And bid us cast the eye of hope, 

Beyond this bad world's narrow scope, 

Or if these joys to us denied, 

To linger by the forest's side ; 

Or in the meadow or the wood, 

Or by the lone romantic flood ; 

Let us in the busy town, 

When sleep's dull streams the people drown, 

Far from drowsy pillows flee, 

And turn the church's massy key ; 

Then, as through the painted glass 

The moon's pale beams obscurely pass 

And darkly on the trophied wall, 

Her faint ambiguous shadows fall ; 

Let us, while the faint winds wail, 

Through the long reluctant aisle, 

As we pace with reverence meet, 

Count the echoings of our feet ; 

While from the tombs, with confess'd breath, 

Distinct responds the voice of death. 

If thou, mild sage, wilt condescend, 

Thus on my footsteps to attend, 

To thee my lonely lamp shall burn, 

By fallen Genius' sainted urn ! 

As o'er the scroll of Time I pour, 

And sagely spell of ancient lore. 

Till I can rightly guess of al] 

That Plato could to memory call, 

And scan the formless views of things, 

Or, with old Egypt's fettered kings, 



164 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Arrange thy mystic trains that shine 
In Night's high philosophic mine ; 
And to thy name shall e'er belong 
The honours of undying song. 



ODE TO THE GENIUS OF ROMANCE. 

Oh thou, who in my early youth, 
When fancy wore the garb of truth, 
Wert wont to win my infant feet, 
To some retired deep-fabled seat, 
Where by the brooklet's secret tide, 
The midnight ghost was known to glide ; 
Or lay me in some lonely glade, 
In native Sherwood's forest shade, 
Where Robin Hood, the outlaw bold, 
Was wont his sylvan courts to bold ; 
And there as musing deep I lay, 
Would steal my little soul away, 
And all thy pictures represent, 
Of siege and solemn tournament ; 
Or bear me to the magic scene, 
Where clad in greaves and gabardine, 
The warrior knight of chivalry, 
Made many a fierce enchanter flee ; 
And bore the high-born dame away, 
Long held the fell magician's prey. 
Or oft would tell the shuddering tale 
Of murders, and of goblins pale, 
Haunting the guilty baron's side, 
(Whose floors with secret blood were dyed), 
Which o'er the vaulted corridor, 
On stormy nights was heard to roar, 
By old domestic, wakened wide 
By the angry winds that chicle. 
Or else the mystic tale would tell, 
Of Green sleeve, or of Blue -Beard fell. 
* * * * 



ODES. 165 



ODE TO MIDNIGHT. 

Season of general rest, wbose solemn still 
Strikes to the trembling heart a fearful chill, 

But speaks to philosophic souls delight : 
Thee clo I hail, as at my casement high, 
My candle waning melancholy by, 

I sit, and taste the holy calm of night. 

Yon pensive orb, that through the ether sails, 
And gilds the misty shadows of the vales, 

Hanging in thy dull rear her vestal flame ; 
To her, while all around in sleep recline, 
Wakeful, I raise my orisons divine, 

And sing the gentle honours of her name j 

While Fancj lone o'er me, her votary, bends, 
To lift my soul her fairy vision sends, 

And pours upon my ear her thrilling song ; 
And Superstition's gentle terrors come, 
See, see yon dim ghost gliding through the gloom ! 

See round jon churchyard elm what spectres throng ! 

Meanwhile I tune, to some romantic lay, 
My flagelet— and as I pensive play, 

The sweet notes echo o'er the mountain scene : 
The traveller late journeying o'er the moors, 
Hears them aghast — (while still the dull owl pours 

Her hollow screams each dreary pause between). 

Till in the lonely tower he spies the light, 
Now faintly flashing on the glooms of night, 

Where I, poor muser, my lone vigils keep ; 
And, mid the dreary solitude serene, 
Cast a much -meaning glance upon the scene, 

And raise my mournful eye to heaven and weep. 



166 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



ODE TO THOUGHT. 
Written at Midnight. 

I. 

Hence away, vindictive Thought ! 

Thy pictures are of pain ; 
The visions through thy dark eye caught, 
They with no gentle charms are fraught, 
So prithee back again. 
I would not weep, 
I wish to sleep, 
Then why, thou busy foe, with me thy vigils keep ? 



Why dost o'er bed and couch recline ? 

Is this thy new delight ? 
Pale visitant, it is not thine 
To keep thy sentry through the mine, 
The dark vault of the night : 
'Tis thine to die, 
While o'er the e}^e 
The dews of slumber press, and waking sorrows fly, 

in. 
Go thou and bide with him who guides 

His bark through lonely seas ; 
And as, reclining on his elm, 
Sadly he marks the starry realm, 
To him thou mayst bring ease ; 
But thou to me 
Art misery, 
So prithee, prithee, plume thy wings, and from my pillow 
flee. 



ODES. 167 

IV. 

And Memory, pray what art thou ? 

Art thou of pleasure born ? 
Does bliss untainted from thee flow ? 
The rose that gems thy pensive brow, 
Is it without a thorn ? 
With all thy smiles, 
And ay itching wiles, 
Yet not unfrequent bitterness thy mournful sway denies. 



The drowsy night-watch has forgot 

To call the solemn hour ; 
Lull'd by the winds he slumbers deep, 
While I in vain, capricious sleep, 
Invoke thy tardy power ; 
And restless lie, 
With unclosed eye, 
And count the tedious hours as slow they minute by. 



ON WHIT-MONDAY. 

Hark ! how the merry bells ring jocund round. 
And now they die upon the veering breeze ; 

Anon they thunder loud 

Full on the musing ear. 

Wafted in varying cadence by the shore 
Of the still twinkling river, they bespeak 

A day of jubilee, — 

An ancient holiday. 

And lo ! the rural revels are begun, 
And gaily echoing to the laughing sky, 

On the smooth shaven green 

Resounds the voice of Mirth. 



168 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Alas ! regardless of the tongue of Fate, 
That tells them 'tis but as an hour since they 
Who now are in their graves 
Kept up the Whitsun dance ; 



And that another hour and they must fall, 
Like those who went before, and sleep as still 

Beneath the silent sod, 

A cold and cheerless sleep. 



Yet why should thoughts like these intrude to scare 
The vagrant Happiness, when she will deign 

To smile upon us here, 

A transient visitor ? 



Mortals ! be gladsome while ye have the power, 
And laugh and seize the glittering lapse of joy ; 

In time the bell will toll 

That warns ye to your graves. 



I to the woodland solitude will bend 

My lonesome way — Where Mirth's obstreperous shout 

Shall not intrude to break 

The meditative hour. 



There will I ponder on the state of man, 
Joyless and sad of heart, and consecrate 
This day of jubilee 
To sad reflection's shrine ; 



And I will cast my fond eye far beyond 
This world of care, to where the steeple loud 
Shall rock above the sod, 
Where I shall sleep in peace. 



ODES. 169 



ON THE DEATH OF DERMODY, THE POET. 

Child of misfortune ! offspring of the muse ! 
Mark like the meteor's gleam, his mad career > 
With hollow cheeks and haggard eye, 
Behold, he shrieking passes by ; 

I see, I see him near : 
That hollow scream, that deepening groan ; 
It rings upon mine ear. 



Oh come, ye thoughtless, ye deluded youth, 
Who clasp the syren Pleasure to your breast ; 
Behold the wreck of Genius here ; 
And drop, oh drop the silent tear 

For Dermody at rest ; 
His fate is yours, then from your loins 
Tear quick the silken vest. 



Saw'st thou his dying bed ! Saw'st thou his eyes. 
Once flashing fire, despair's dim tear distil ; 
How ghastly did it seem ; 
And then his dying scream ; 
Oh God ! I hear it still : 
It sounds upon my fainting sense. 
It strikes with deathly chill. 

Say, didst thou mark the brilliant poet's death ; 
Saw'st thou an anxious father by his bed, 
Or pitying friends around him stand ? 
Or didst thou see a mother's hand 

Support his languid head ? 
Oh none of these — no friend o'er him 
The balm of pity shed. 



170 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Now come around, ye flippant sons of wealth, 
Sarcastic smile on genius fallen low ; 
Now come around who pant for fame, 
And learn from hence a poet's name 

Is purchased but by woe : 
And when ambition prompts to rise. 
Oh think of him below. 



For me, poor moralizer, I will run, 
Dejected, to some solitary state : 
The muse has set her seal on me., 
She set her seal on Dermody, 

It is the seal of fate : 
In some lone spot my bones may lie^ 
Secure from human hate. 

Yet ere I go I'll drop one silent tear, 

Where lies unwept the poet's fallen head ; 
May peace her banners o'er him wave ; 
For me in my deserted grave 

No friend a tear shall shed : 
Yet may the lily and the rose 
Bloom on my grassy bed. 



FRAGMENTS. 



FRAGMENT OF AN ECCENTRIC DRAMA. 

Written at a very early age. 

[In a little volume which the author had copied out, apparently for 
the press, before the publication of " Clifton Grove," the song with 
•which this fragment commences was inserted, under the title of 
" The Dance of the Consumptives, in imitation of Shakspeare, taken 
from an Eccentric Drama, written by H. K. W. when very young." 
The rest was discovered among his loose papers, in the first rude 
draught, having, to all appearance, never been transcribed. The 
song was extracted when he was sixteen, and must have been written 
at least a year before— probably more, by the handwriting. There is 
something strikingly wild and original in the fragment.] 



THE DANCE OF THE CONSUMPTIVES. 

I. 
Ding-dong ! ding-dong ; 
Merry, merry, go the bells, 
Ding-dong ! ding-dong ! 
Over the heath, over the moor, and over the dale 

" Swinging slow with sullen roar," 
Dance, dance away, the jocund roundelay ! 
Ding-dong, ding-dong, calls us away. 

ii. 

Round the oak, and round the elm, 
Merrily foot it o'er the ground ! 
The sentry ghost it stands aloof, 
So merrily, merrily, foot it rouncl 
Ding-dong ! ding-dong 
Merry, merry, go the bells, 



172 HENRY KTRKE WHITE'S POEirS. 

Swelling in the nightly gale, 
The sentry ghost, 
It keeps its post, 
And soon, and soon our sports must fail : 
But let us trip the nightly ground, 
While the merry, merry, bells ring round. 

in. 
Hark ! hark ! the death-watch ticks ! 
See, see, the winding-sheet ! 
Our dance is done, 
Our race is run, 
And we must lie at the alder's feet 
Ding-dong, ding-dong, 
Merry, merry, go the bells, 
Swinging o'er the weltering wave ! 
And we must seek 
Our deathbeds bleak, 
Where the green sod grows upon the grave. 

(They vanish — The Goddess of Consumption descends, habited in 
a sky-blue Robe — Attended by mournful Music.) 

Come, Melancholy, sister mine ! 

Cold the dews, and chill the night : 
Come from thy dreary shrine ! 

The wan moon climbs the heavenly height, 
And underneath her sickly ray, 
Troops of squalid spectres play, 
And the dying mortal's groan 
Startles the night on her dusky throne. 
Come, come, sister mine ! 
Gliding on the pale moonshine : 
We'll ride at ease, 
On the tainted breeze, 
And oh ! our sport will be divine. 

(The Goddess of Melancholy advances out of a deep Glen in the 
rear, habited in Black, and covered with a thick Veil — She speaks.) 

Sister, from my dark abode, 

Where nests the raven, sits the toad, 



FRAGMENTS. 1^3 



Hither I come, at thy command ; 
Sister, sister, join thy hand ! 
I will smooth the way for thee, 
Thou shalt furnish food for me. 
Come let us speed our way 
Where the troops of spectres play. 
To charnel-houses, churchyards drear, 
Where Death sits with a horrible leer, 
A lasting grin on a throne of bones, 
And skim along the blue tombstones. 
Come, let us speed away, 
Lay our snares, and spread our tether ! 
I will smooth the way for thee, 
Thou shalt furnish food for me ; 
And the grass shall wave 
O'er many a grave, 
Where youth and beauty sleep together. 

CONSUMPTION. 

Come, let us speed our way ! 
Join our hands, and spread our tether ! 
I will furnish food for thee, 
Thou shalt smooth the way for me, 
And the grass shall wave 
O'er many a grave, 
Where youth and beauty sleep together. 

MELANCHOLY. 

Hist, sister, hist ! who comes here ? 
Oh, I know her by that tear, 
By that blue eye's languid glare, 
By her skin, and by her hair ; 

She is mine, 

And she is thine, 
Now the deadliest draught prepare, 

CONSUMPTION. 

In the dismal night air drest, 
I will creep into her breast ; 



174 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Flush her cheek, and bleach her skin, 
And feed on the vital fire within. 
Lover, do not trust her eyes, — 
When they sparkle most she dies ! 
Mother, do not trust her breath, — 
Comfort she will breathe in death ! 
Father, do not strive to save her, — 
She is mine, and I must have her ; 
The coffin must be her bridal bed ; 
The winding sheet must wrap her head ; 
The whispering winds must o'er her sigh, 
For soon in the grave the maid must lie. 

The worm it will riot 

On heavenly diet, 
When death has deflower'd her eye. 

[They vanish. 

While Consumption speaks Angelina enters. 

ANGELINA. 

With* what a silent and dejected pace 
Dost thou, wan Moon ! upon thy way advance 
In the blue welkin's vault ! — Pale wanderer ! 
Hast thou, too, felt the pangs of hopeless love, 
That thus, with such a melancholy grace, 
Thou dost pursue thy solitary course ? 
Hast thy Endymion, smooth-faced boy, forsook 
Thy widow'd breast — on which the spoiler oft 
Has nestled fondly, while the silver clouds 
Fantastic pillow'd thee, and the dim Night, 
Obsequious to thy will, encurtain'd round 
With its thick fringe thy couch ? — Wan traveller, 
How like thy fate to mine ! — Yet I have still 
One heavenly hope remaining, which thou lack'st ; 
My woes will soon be buried in the grave 
Of kind forgetfulness : — my journey here, 
Though it be darksome, joyless, and forlorn, 
Is yet but short, and soon my weary feet 

* With how sad steps, O Moon ! thou climb'st the skies, 
How silently, and with Low wan a face ! 

Sir P. Sidney. 



FKAGMENTS. 175 



Will greet the peaceful inn of lasting rest. 
But thou, unhappy Queen ! art doom'd to trace 
Thy lonely walk in the drear realms of Night, 
While many a lagging age shall sweep beneath 
The leaden pinions of unshaken time ; 
Though not a hope shall spread its glittering hue 
To cheat thy steps along the weary way. 

Oh that the sum of human happiness 

Should be so trifling, and so frail withal, 

That when possest, it is but lessen'd grief; 

And even then there's scarce a sudden gust 

That blows across the dismal waste of life, 

But bears it from the view. — Oh ! who would shun 

The hour that cuts from earth, and fear to press 

The calm and peaceful pillows of the grave, 

And yet endure the various ills of life, 

And dark vicissitudes ! — Soon, I hope, I feel, 

And am assured, that I shall lay my head, 

My weary aching head, on its last rest, 

And on my lowly bed the grass-green sod 

Will flourish sweetly. — And then they will weep 

That one so young, and what they're pleased to call 

So beautiful, should die so soon — And tell 

How painful disappointment's canker'd fang 

Wither'd the rose upon my maiden cheek. 

Oh foolish ones ! why I shall sleep so sweetly 

Laid in my darksome grave, that they themselves 

Might envy me my rest ! — And as for them, 

Who, on the score of former intimacy, 

May thus remembrance me — they must themselves 

Successive fall. 

Around the winter fire 
(When out-a-doors the biting frost congeals, 
And shrill the skater's irons on the pool 
Ring loud, as by the moonlight he performs 
His graceful evolutions) they not long 
Shall sit and chat of older times, and feasts 
Of early youth, but silent, one by one, 
Shall drop into their shrouds — Some in their age, 



176 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS* 

Ripe for the sicHe ; others young, like me, 

And falling green beneath the untimely stroke. 

Thus, in short time, in the churchyard forlorn, 

Where I shall lie, my friends will lay them down, 

And dwell with me, a happy family. 

And oh, thou cruel, yet beloved youth, 

Who now hast left me hopeless here to mourn, 

Do thou but shed one tear upon my corse, 

And say that I was gentle, and deserved 

A better lover, and I shall forgive 

All, all thy wrongs; — and then do thou forget 

The hapless Margaret, and be as blest 

As wish can make thee. — Laugh, and play, and sing, 

With thy dear choice, and never think of me. 

Yet hist, I hear a step. — In this dark wood — 
* ' * * * 



FRAGMENT. 



-The western gale, 



Mild as the kisses of Connubial love, 

Plays round my languid limbs, as all dissolved, 

Beneath the ancient elm's fantastic shade 

I lie, exhausted with the noontide heat ; 

While rippling o'er its deep- worn pebble bed, 

The rapid rivulet rushes at my feet, 

Dispensing coolness. — On the fringed marge 

Full many a flow'ret rears its head, — or pink, 

Or gaudy daffodil. — 'Tis here, at noon, 

The buskin'd wood-nymphs from the heat retire, 

And lave them in the fountain ; here secure 

From Pan or savage satyr, they disport ; 

Or stretch' d supinely on the velvet turf, 

Lull'd by the laden bee, or sultry fly, 

Invoke the god of slumber. * * * 



FRAGMENTS. 



And hark, how merrily, from distant tower. 
Ring round the village bells ! now on the gale 
They rise with gradual swell, distinct and loud ; 
Anon they die upon the pensive ear, 
Melting in faintest music. — They bespeak 
A day of jubilee, and oft they bear 
Commixt along the unfrequented shore, 
The sound of village dance- and tabor loud, 
Startling the musing ear of solitude, 

Such is the jocund wake of Whitsuntide, 
When happy Superstition, gabbling eld ! 
Holds her unhurtful gambols. — All the day 
The rustic revellers ply the mazy dance, 
On the smooth-shaven green, and then at eve 
Commence the harmless rites and auguries ; 
And many a tale of ancient clays goes round. 
They tell of wizard seer, whose potent spells 
Could hold in dreadful thrall the labouring moon, 
Or draw the flx'd stars from their eminence, 
And still the midnight tempest. — Then anon, 
Tell of uncharnel'd spectres, seen to glide 
Along the lone wood's unfrequented path, 
Startling the nighted traveller ; while the sound 
Of undistinguished murmurs, heard to come 
From the dark centre of the deep'ning glen, 
Struck en his frozen ear. 

Oh, Ignorance, 
Thou art fali'n man's best friend ! With thee he speeds 
In frigid apathy along his way, 
And never does the tear of agony 
Burn down his scorching cheek ; or the keen steel 
Of wounded feeling penetrate his breast. 

E'en now, as leaning on this fragrant bank, 
I taste of all the keener happiness 
Which sense refined affords — E'en now my heart 
Would fain induce me to forsake the world. 



J 78 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

Throw off these garments, and in shepherd's weeds, 
With a small flock, and short suspended reed, 
To sojourn in the woodland. — Then my thought 
Draws such gay pictures of ideal bliss, 
That I could almost err in reason's spite, 
And trespass on my judgment. 

Such is life : 
The distant prospect always seems more fair, 
And when attain'd, another still succeeds 
Far fairer than before, — yet compass'd round 
With the same dangers, and the same dismay. 
And we poor pilgrims in this dreary maze, 
Still discontented, chase the fairy form 
Of unsubstantial happiness, to find, 
When life itself is sinking in the strife, 
'Tis but an airy bubble and a cheat. 



FRAGMENT. 

Oh ! thou most fatal of Pandora's train, 

Consumption ! silent cheater of the eye ; 
Thou comest not robed in agonizing pain, 

Nor mark'st thy course with Death's delusive dye, 
But silent and unnoticed thou dost lie : 

O'er life's soft springs thy venom dost diffuse, 
And while thou givest new lustre to the eye, 

While o'er the cheek are spread health's ruddy hues, 
E'en then life's little rest thy cruel power subdues. 
Oft I've beheld thee in the glow of youth, 

Hid 'neath the blushing roses which there bloomed ; 
And dropt a tear, for then thy cankering tooth 

I knew would never stay, till, all consumed, 
In the cold vault of death he were entombed. 

But oh ! what sorrow did I feel, as, swift, 

Insidious ravager, I saw thee fly 
Through fair Lucina's breast of whitest snow, 

Preparing swift her passage to the sky. 



FRAGMENTS. 179 



Though still intelligence beamed in the glance, 

The liquid lustre of her fine blue eye ; 
Yet soon did languid listlessness advance, 
And soon she calmly sunk in death's repugnant trance. 

Even when her end was swiftly drawing near, 
And dissolution hovered o'er her head ; 

Even then so beauteous did her form appear, 
That none who saw her but admiring said. 
Sure so much beauty never could be dead. 

Yet the dark lash of her expressive eye, 

Bent lowly down upon the languid 



FRAGMENT. 

Loud rage the winds without.— The wintry cloud 
O'er the cold north star casts her fitting shroud ; 
And silence, pausing in some snow-clad dale, 
Starts as she hears, by fits, the shrieking gale ; 
Where now shut out from every still retreat 
Her pine-clad summit, and her woodland seat, 
Shall Meditation, in her saddest mood, 
Retire, o'er all her pensive stores to brood ? 
Shivering and blue, the peasant eyes askance 
The drifted fleeces that around him dance ; 
And hurries on his half-averted form, 
Stemming the fury of the sidelong storm. 
Him soon shall greet his snow-topt [cot of thatch], 
Soon shall his 'numbed hand tremble on the latch ; 
Soon from his chimney's nook the cheerful flame 
Diffuse a genial warmth throughout his frame. 
Round the light fire, while roars the north wind loud, 
What merry groups of vacant faces crowd ; 
These hail his coming — these his meal prepare, 
And boast in all that cot no lurking care. 



J 



180 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S POEMS. 

What, though the social circle be denied, 
Even Sadness brightens at her own fireside ; 
Loves, with fixed eye, to watch the fluttering blaze, 
While musing Memory dwells on former days ; 
Or Hope, bless' d spirit ! smiles — and, still forgiven, 
Forgets the passport, while she points to Heaven. 
Then heap the fire — shut out the biting air, 
And from its station wheel the easy chair : 
Thus fenced and warm, in silence fit, 'tis sweet 
To hear without the bitter tempest beat, 
And, all alone, to sit, and muse, and sigh, 
The pensive tenant of obscurity. 



FRAGMENTS. 

These fragments are the Author's latest compositions ; and were, for 
the most part, written upon the back of his mathematical papers, 
during the few moments of the last year of his life in which he 
suffered himself to follow the impulse of his genius.] 

I. 

" Saw'st thou that light?" exclaim'd the youth, and paus'd ; 
:t Through yon dark firs it glanced, and on the stream 
That skirts the woods, it for a moment played. 
Again, more light it gleam' d, — or does some sprite 
Delude mine eyes with shapes of wood and streams, 
And lamp far beaming through the thicket's gloom, 
As from some bosom'd cabin, where the voice 
Of revelry, or thrifty watchfulness, 
Keeps in the lights at this unwonted hour ? 
No sprite deludes mine eyes, — the beam now glows 
With steady lustre. — Can it be the moon, 
Who, hidden long by the invidious veil 
That blots the Heavens, now sets behind the woods ?" — 
" No moon to-night has looked upon the sea 
Of clouds beneath her," answered Rudiger, 
" She has been sleeping with Endymion." 
* # # # 



FRAGMENTS. 181 



The pious man, 
In this "bad world, when mists and couchant storms, 
Hide Heaven's fine circlet, springs aloft in faith 
Above the clouds that threat him, to the fields 
Of ether, where the day is never veiled 
With intervening vapours ; and looks down 
Serene upon the troublous sea, that hides 
The earth's fair breast, that sea whose nether face 
To grovelling mortals frowns and darkens all ; 
But on whose billowy back, from man concealed 
The glaring sunbeam plays. 



in. 
Lo ! on the eastern summit, clad in gray, 
Morn, like a horseman girt for travel, comes *, 
And from his tower of mist, 
Night' s watchman hurries down. 



iv 4 
There was a little bird upon that pile , 
It perched upon a ruined pinnacle, 
And made sw^eet melody. 

The song was soft, yet cheerful and most clear, 
For other note none swelled the air but his. 
It seemed as if the little chorister, 
Sole tenant of the melancholy pile, 
Were a lone hermit, outcast from his kind, 
Yet withal cheerful, — I have heard the note 
Echoing so lonely o'er the aisle forlorn, 
Much musing — 



HENRY KIHKE WHITE'S POEMS. 



V. 

pale art thou, my lamp, and faint 

Tiiy melancholy ray : 
When the still night's unclouded saint 

Is walking on her way. 
Through my lattice leaf embowered, 
Fair she sheds her shadowy beam ; 
And o'er my silent sacred room, 
Casts a chequered twilight gloom ; 
T throw aside the learned sheet, 

1 cannot choose but gaze, she looks so mildly sweet. 

Sad vestal, why art thou so fair, 
Or why am I so frail ? 

Methinks thou lookest kindly on me, Moon, 

And cheerest my lone hours with sweet regards ! 

Surely like me thou'rt sad, but dost not speak 
Thy sadness to the cold unheeding crowd ; 

So mournfully composed, o'er yonder cloud 

Thou shinest, like a cresset beaming far 

From the rude watch-tower, o'er the Atlantic wave. 



O give me music — for my soul doth faint ; 

I'm sick of noise and care, and now mine ear 
Longs for some air of peace, some dying plaint, 

That may the spirit from its cell unsphere. 

Hark how it falls ! and now it steals along, 
Like distant bells upon the lake at eve, 

When all is still ; and now it grows more strong, 
As when the choral train their dirges weave, 

Mellow and many- voiced ; where every close 

O'er the old minster roof, in echoing waves reflows. 

Oh ! I am wrapt aloft. My spirit soars 

Beyond the skies, and leaves the stars behind. 



FRAGMENTS. ]£3 

Lo 1 angels lead me to the happy shores, 

And floating pseans fill the buoyant wind. 
Farewell ! base earth, farewell ! my sod is freed, 
Far from its clayey cell it springs, — 



Ah ! who can say, however fair his -view, 
Through what sad scenes his path may lie ? 
Ah ! who can give to other's woes his sigh, 

Secure his own will never need it too ! 

Let thoughtless youth its seeming joys pursue, 
Soon will they learn to scan with thoughtful eye, 
The illusive past and dark futurity ; 

Soon will they know — 

« * * * 



And must thou go, and must we part ! 

Yes, Fate decrees, and I submit ! 
The pang that rends in twain my heart. 

Oh, Fanny, dost thou share in it ? 

Thy sex is fickle, — when away, 

Some happier youth may win thy — 



IX. 

When high romance o'er every wood and stream, 
Dark lustre shed, my infant mind to fire ; 

Spell-struck, and filled with many a wondering dream, 
First in the groves I woke the pensive lyre. 

All there was mystery then, the gust that woke 
The midnight echo was a spirit's dirge ; 



134 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S POEMS. 

And unseen fairies would the moon invoke, 
To their light morrice by the restless surge. 

Now to my sobered thought with life's false smiles. 
Too much * * * 

The vagrant, Fancy, spreads no more her wiles, 
And dark forebodings now my bosom fill. 



Once more, and yet once more, 

I give unto my harp a dark- woven lay ; 
I heard the waters roar, 

I heard the flood of ages pass away. 
Oh thou, stern spirit, who dost dwell 

In thine eternal cell, 
Nothing, gray chronicler ! the silent years ; 

I saw thee rise, — I saw the scroll complete, 

Thou spakest, and at thy feet, 
The universe gave way. 



XI. 

Hushed is the lyre — the hand that swept 
The low and pensive wires, 
Robbed of its cunning, from the task retires, 

Yes — it is still — the lyre is still ; 

The spirit which it slumbers broke, 

Hath passed away, — and that weak hand that woke 
Its forest melodies hath lost its skill. 
Yet I would press you to my lips once more, 

Ye wild, ye withering flowers of poesy ; 
Yet would I drink the fragrance which ye pour, 

Mixed with decaying odourr. ; for to me 
Ye have beguiled the hours of infancy, 

As in the wood- paths of my native — 



REMAINS 



OF 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 



LETTERS. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, September 1799. 
Dear Buother, 

In consequence of your repeated solicitations, I now 
sit down to write to you, although I never received an 
answer to the last letter which I wrote, nearly six months 
ago ; but as I never heard you mention it in any of my 
mother's letters, I am induced to think it has miscarried, 
or been mislaid in your office. 

It is now nearly four months since I entered into Mr 
Coldham's office, and it is with pleasure I can assure you 
that I never yet found anything disagreeable, but, on 
the contrary, every thing I do seems a pleasure to me, 
and for a very obvious reason ; — it is a business which 
I like — a business which I chose before all others ; and 
I have two good-tempered, easy masters, but who will, 
nevertheless, see that their business is clone in a neat 
and proper manner. The study of the law is well known 
to be a dry, difficult task, and requires a comprehensive, 
good understanding ; and I hope you will allow me 
(without charging me with egotism) to have a tolerable 
one ; and I trust, with perseverance, and a very large 
law library to refer to, I shall be able to accomplish the 
study of so much of the laws of England, and our sys- 
tem of jurisprudence, in less than five years, as to enable 
me to be a country attorney ; and then, as I shall have 
two more years to serve, I hope I shall attain so much 



188 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

knowledge in all parts of the law as to enable me, with 
a little study at the inns of court, to hold an argument, 
on the nice points in the law, with the bsst attorney in 
the kingdom. A man that understands the law is sure 
to have business ; and in case I have no thoughts, in case, 
that is, that I do not aspire to hold the honourable place 
of a barrister, I shall feel sure of gaining a genteel live- 
lihood at the business to which I am articled. 

I attend at the office at eight in the morning, and leave 
at eight in the evening ; then attend my Latin until 
nine, which, you may be sure, is pretty close confinement. 

Mr Coldham is clerk to the commercial commissioners, 
which has occasioned us a deal of extraordinary work. I 
worked all Sunday, and until twelve o'clock on Saturday 
night, when they were hurried to give in the certificates 
to the bank. We had also a very troublesome cause 
last assizes, The Corporation versus Gee, which we (the 
attorneys for the corporation) lost. It was really a very 
fatiguing day (I mean the day on which it was tried). I 
never got anything to eat, from five in the afternoon the 
preceding day, until twelve the next night, when the 
trial ended. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, 23th June 1800. 
Dear Brother, 

* * * * 

My mother has allowed me a good deal lately for 
books, and I have a large assortment (a retailer's phrase). 
But I hope you do not suppose they consist of novels ; — 
no — I have made a firm resolution never to spend above 
one hour at this amusement. Though I have been 
obliged to enter into this resolution in consequence of a 
vitiated taste acquired by reading romances, I do not 
intend to banish them entirely from my desk. After 
long and fatiguing researches in Blackstone or Coke, 



LETTEES. 189 



when the mind becomes weak, through intense applica- 
tion, Tom Jones, or Robinson Crusoe, will afford a pleas- 
ing and necessary relaxation. 

Apropos — now we are speaking of Robinson Crusoe, I 
shall observe, that it is allowed to be the best novel for 
youth in the English language. De Foe, the author, 
was a singular character ; but as I make no doubt you 
have read his life, I will not trouble you with any further 
remarks. 

The books which I now read with attention are Black- 
stone, Knox's Essays, Plutarch, Chesterfield's Letters, 
four large volumes, Virgil, Homer, and Cicero, and several 
others. Blackstone and Knox, Virgil and Cicero, I have 
got ; the others I read out of Mr Coldham's library. I 
have finished Rollin's Ancient History, Blair's Lectures, 
Smith's Wealth of Nations, Hume's England, and Bri- 
tish Nepos, lately. When I have read Knox, I will 
send it you, and recommend it to your attentive perusal ; 
it is a most excellent work. I also read now the British 
Classics, the common edition of which I now take in ; it 
comes every fortnight ; I dare say you have seen it ; it 
is Cook's Edition. I would recommend you also to read 
these ; I will send them to you. I have got the Citizen 
of the World, Idler, Goldsmith's Essays, and part of the 
Rambler. I will send you soon the fourth number of 
the Monthly Preceptor. I am noticed as worthy of com- 
mendation, and as affording an encouraging prospect of 
future excellence. — You will laugh. I have also turned 
poet, and have translated an ode of Horace into English 
verse, also for the Monthly Preceptor, but, unfortunately, 
when I sent it, I forgot the title, so it won't be noticed. 

I do not forsake the flowery paths of poesy, for that 
is my chief delight ; I read the best poets. Mr Coldham 
has got Johnson's complete set, with their lives ; these, 
of course, I read. 

With a little drudgery, I read Italian — Have got 
some good Italian works, as Pastor Fido, &c. &c. I 
taught myself, and have got a grammar. 

I must now beg leave to return you my sincere thanks 
for your kind present. I like " La Bruyere the Less" 



190 HENRY KIRKE WHITE' S REMAINS. 

very much ; I have read the original La Bruyere ; I 
think him like Kochefoucau.lt. Madame de Genlis is a 
very able woman, 

* * * * 

But I must now attempt to excuse my neglect in not 
writing to you. First, I have been very busy with these ! 
essays and poems for the Monthly Preceptor. Second, j 
I was rather angry at your last letter — I can bear any- 
thing but a sneer, and it was one continued grin from 
beginning to end, as were all the notices you made of me 
in my mother's letters, and I could not, nor can I now, 
brook it. I could say much more, but it is very late, and 
must beg leave to wish you good night. 
I am, dear Brother, 

Your affectionate Friend, 

H. K. White. 

P.S. — You may expect a regular correspondence from 
me in future, but no sneers ; and shall be very obliged 
by a long letter. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, 25th June 1800. 
Dear Neville, 

* * * * 

You are inclined to flatter me when you compare my 
application with yours ; in truth, I am not half so assi- 
duous as you, and I amconscious I waste a deal of time 
unwittingly. But, in reading, I am upon the continual 
search for improvement : I thirst after knowledge, and 
though my disposition is naturally idle, I conquer it when 
reading a useful book. The plan which I pursued, in 
order to subdue my disinclination to dry books, was this, 
to begin attentively to peruse it, and continue thus one 
hour every day : the book insensibly, by this means, 
becomes pleasing to you ; and even when reading Black- 
stone's Commentaries, which are very dry, I lay down 
the book with regret. 



LETTERS. 



191 



With regard to the Monthly Preceptor, I certainly 
shall be agreeable to your taking it in, as my only objec- 
tion was the extreme impatience which I feel to see 
whether my essays have been successful ; but this may 
be obviated by your speedy perusal, and not neglecting 
to forward it. But you must have the goodness not to 
begin till August, as my bookseller cannot stop it this 
month. 



I had a ticket given me to the boxes, on Monday night, 
for the benefit of Campbell, from Drury Lane, and there 
was such a riot as never was experienced here before. 
He is a democrat, and the soldiers planned a riot in con- 
junction with the mob. We heard the shouting of the 
rabble in the street before the play was over : the 
moment the curtain dropt an officer went into the front 
box, and gave the word of command : immediately about 
sixty troopers started up, and six trumpeters in the 
pit played " God save the King.''' The noise was 
astonishing. The officers in the boxes then drew their 
swords, and at another signal the privates in the pit 
drew their bludgeons, which they had hitherto con- 
cealed, and attacked all indiscriminately that had not 
a uniform : the officers did the same with their swords, 
and the house was one continued scene of confusion : 
one pistol was fired, and the ladies were fainting in the 
lobby. The outer doors were shut, to keep out the mob 
and the people jumped on the stage as a last resource' 
One of these noble officers, seeing one man stand in the* 
pit with his hat on, jumped over the division and cut 
him with his sword, which the man instantly wrenched 
from him and broke, whilst the officer sneaked back in 
disgrace. They then formed a troop, and having 
emptied the playhouse, they scoured the streets with 
their swords, and returned home victorious. The players 
are, in consequence, dismissed, and we have informations 
in our office against the officers. 



192 HENRY KIRKE WHITES REMAINS. 

TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, Michaelmas-day, 1800. 
Dear Neville, 

I cannot divine what, in an epistolary correspondence, 
can have such charms (with people who write only com- 
monplace occurrences) as to detach a man from his usual 
affairs, and make him waste time and paper on what 
cannot be of the least real benefit to his correspondent. 
Amongst relatives, certainly there is always an incite- 
ment, we always feel anxiety for their welfare. But I 
have no friend so dear to me, as to cause me to take the 
trouble of reading his letters, if they only contained an 
account of his health, and the mere nothings of the day ; 
indeed, such a one would be unworthy of friendship. 
What then is requisite to make one's correspondence 
valuable ? I answer, sound sense. — Nothing more is re- 
quisite ; as to the style, one may very readily excuse its 
faults if repaid by the sentiments. You have better 
natural abilities than many youth, but it is with regret 
I see that you will not give yourself the trouble of writing 
a good letter. There is hardly any species of composi- 
tion (in my opinion) easier than the epistolary ; but, my 
friend, you never found any art, however trivial, that 
did not require some application at first. For, if an 
artist, instead of endeavouring to surmount the difficul- 
ties which presented themselves, were to rest contented 
with mediocrity, how could he possibly ever arrive at 
excellence ? Thus 'tis with you ; instead of that indefa- 
tigable perseverance which, in other cases, is a leading- 
trait in your character, I hear you say, " Ah, my poor 
brains were never formed for letter-writing — I shall 
never write a good letter," or some such phrases ; and thus, 
by despairing of ever arriving at excellence, you render 
yourself hardly tolerable. You may, perhaps, think this 
art beneath your notice, or unworthy of your pains ; if 
so, you are assuredly mistaken, for there is hardly any- 
thing which would contribute more to the advancement 
of a young man, or which is more engaging. 



BETTERS. 193 



You read, I believe, a good deal ; nothing could be 
more acceptable to me, or more improving to you, than 
making a part of jour letters to consist of your senti- 
ments, and opinion of the books you peruse ; you have 
no idea how beneficial this would be to yourself ; and 
that you are able to do it, I am certain. One of the 
greatest impediments to good writing, is the thinking 
too much before you note down. This, I think, you are 
not entirely free from. I hope, that by always writing 
the first idea that presents itself, you will soon conquer 
it ; my letters are always the rough first draft ; of course 
there are many alterations ; these you will excuse. 

I have written most of my letters to you in so negli- 
gent a manner, that, if you would have the goodness to 
return all you have preserved sealed, I will peruse them, 
and all sentences worth preserving I will extract, and 
return. 

You observe, in your last, that your letters are read 
with contempt. — Do you speak as you think ? 

You had better write again to Mr . Between 

friends the common forms of the world, in writing letter 
for letter, need not be observed ; but never write three 
without receiving one in return, because in that case 
they must be thought unworthy of answer. 

We have been so busy lately, I could not answer 
yours sooner. — Once a month suppose we write to each 
other. If you ever find that my correspondence is not 
worth the trouble of carrying on, inform me of it, and 
it shall cease. 

* * * * 

P.S. — If any expression in this be too harsh, excuse 
it. I am not in an ill humour, recollect. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, 11th April 1801. 
Dear Neville, 

On opening yours, I was highly pleased to find two 
and a half sheets of paper, and nothing could exceed my 



194 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

joy at so apparently long a letter ; but, upon finding it 
consisted of sides filled after the rate of five words in a 
line, and nine lines in a page, I could not conceal my 
chagrin ; and I am sure I may very modestly say, that 
one of my ordinary pages contains three of yours ; if 
you knew half the pleasure I feel in your correspondence, 
I am confident you would lengthen your letters. You 
tantalize me with the hopes of a prolific harvest, and 
I find alas ! a thin crop, whose goodness only makes me 
lament its scantiness. 

* - * * * 

I had almost forgot to tell you that I have obtained 
the first prize (of a pair of Adam's twelve-inch globes, 
value three guineas) in the first class of the Monthly 
Preceptor. The subject was an imaginary tour from 
London to Edinburgh. It is printed consequently, and 
I shall send it to you the very first opportunity. The 
proposals stated that the essay was not to exceed three 
pages when printed — mine takes seven ; therefore I am 
astonished they gave me the first prize. There was an 
extraordinary number of candidates, and they said they 
never had a greater number of excellent ones, and they 
washed they could have given thirty prizes. You will 

find it (in a letter) addressed to N , meaning your 

self. 

* # * * 

Warton is a poet from whom I have derived the most 
exquisite pleasure and gratification. He abounds in 
sublimity and loftiness of thought as well as expression. 
His Pleasures of Melancholy is truly a sublime poem. 
The following passage I particularly admire : — 

" Nor undelightful in the solemn noon 
Of night, where, haply wakeful from my couch 
I start : lo, all is motionless around I 
Roars not the rushing wind ; the sons of men, 
And every beast, in mute oblivion lie ; 
All Nature's hush'd in silence and in sleep. 
Oh, then, how fearful is it to reflect, 
That through the still globe's awful solitude 
No being wakes but me !" 

How affecting are the latter lines ! it is impossible to 



LETTERS. 195 

withstand the emotions which rise on its perusal, and I 
envy not that man his insensibility who can read them 
with apathy. Many of the pieces of the Bible are 
written in this sublime manner : one psalm, I think the 
18th, is a perfect masterpiece, and has been imitated by 
many poets. Compare these, or the above quoted from 
Warton, and the finest piece in Pope, and then judge of 
the rank which he holds as a poet. Another instance 
of the sublime in poetry, I will give you from Aken- 
side's admirable Pleasures of Imagination, where, speak- 
ing of the Soul, he says, she 

" Rides on the volley'd lightning through the heav'ns, 
And yoked, with whirlwinds and the northern blast, 
Sweeps the long tract of day." 

Many of these instances of sublimity will occur to you 
in Thomson. 

James begs leave to present you with Bloomfield's 
Farmer's Boy. Bloomfield has no grandeur or height ; 
he is a pastoral poet, and the simply sweet is what you 
are to expect from him ; nevertheless, his descriptions 
are sometimes little inferior to Thomson. 

* * * * 

How pleased should I be, Neville, to have you with 
us at Nottingham ! Our fireside would be delightful. — 
I should profit by your sentiments and experience, and 
you possibly might gain a little from my small bookish 
knowledge. But I am afraid that time will never come ; 
your time of apprenticeship is nearly expired, and, in all 
appearance, the small residue that yet remains will be 
passed in hated London. When you arc emancipated, 
you will have to mix in the bustle of the world, in all 
probability, also, far from home ; so that when we have 
just learnt how happy w r e might mutually make ourselves, 
we find scarcely a shadow of a probability of ever having 
the opportunity. Well, well, it is in vain to resist the 
immutable decrees of fate. 



196 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, April 1801. 
Dear Neville, 

As I know yon will participate with me in the plea- 
sure I receive from literary distinctions, I hasten to in- 
form you, that my poetical Essay on Gratitude is printed 
in this month's Preceptor — that my Remarks on Warton 
are promised insertion in the next month's Mirror, and 
that my Essay on Truth is printed in the present (April) 
Monthly Visitor. The Preceptor I shall not be able to 
send you until the end of this month. The Visitor you 
will herewith receive. The next month's Mirror I shall 
consequently buy. I wish it were not quite so expensive, 
as I think it a very good work. Benjamin Thomson, 
Capel Lofft, Esq., Robert Bloomfield, Thomas Dermody, 
Mr Gilchrist, under the signature of Octavius, Mrs 
Blore, a noted female writer, under the signature of 
Q.Z., are correspondents; and the editors are not only 
men of genius and taste, but of the greatest respectability. 
As I shall now be a regular contributor to this work, 
and as I think it contains much good matter, I have half 
an inclination to take it in, more especially as you have 
got the prior volumes ; but in the present state of my 
finances, it will not be prudent, unless you accede to a 
proposal which, I think, will be gratifying to yourself. 
It is to take it in conjunction with me, by which means 
we shall both have the same enjoyment of it, with half 
the expense. It is of little consequence who takes them, 
only he must be expeditious in reading them. If you 
have any the least objection to this scheme, do not sup- 
press it through any regard to punctilio. I have only 
proposed it, and it is not very material whether you 
concur or not ; only exercise your own discretion. 

You say (speaking of a passage concerning you in my 
last), " this is compliment sufficient; the rest must be 
flattery." — Do you seriously, Neville, think me capable 
of flattery ? 



LETTERS. 197 



As you well know I am a carping critical little dog, 
you will not be surprised at my observing that there is 
one figure in your last that savours rather of the ludi- 
crous, when you talk of a (i butterfly hopping from book 
to book." 

As to the something that I am to find out that is a per- 
petual bar to your progress in knowledge, &c, I am in- 
clined to think, Doctor, it is merely conceit. You fancy 
that you cannot write a letter — you dread its idea ; you 
conceive that a work of four volumes would require the 
labours of a life to read through ; you persuade yourself 
that you cannot retain what you read, and in de- 
spair do not attempt to conquer these visionary impedi- 
ments. Confidence, Neville, in one's own abilities, is a 
sure forerunner (in similar circumstances with the pre- 
sent) of success. As an illustration of this, I beg leave 
to adduce the example of Pope, who had so high a sense, 
in his youth or rather in his infancy, of his own capa- 
city, that there was nothing of which, when once set 
about it, he did not think himself capable; and, as Dr 
Johnson has observed, the natural consequence of this 
minute perception of his own powers, was his arriving 
.at as high a pitch of perfection as it was possible for a 
man, with his few natural endowments, to attain. 

3f ¥■ % =& 

When you wish to read Johnson's Lives of the Poets, 
send for them : I have lately purchased them. I have 
now a large library. My mother allows me ten pounds 
per annum for clothes. I always dress in a respectable, 
and even in a genteel manner, yet I can make much 
less than this sum suffice. My father generally gives 
me one coat in a year, and I make two serve. I then 
receive one guinea per annum for keeping my mother's 
books ; one guinea per annum pocket money ; and by 
other means I gain, perhaps, two guineas more per an- 
num : so that I have been able to buy pretty many ; and 
when you come home, you will find me in my study, 
surrounded with books and papers. I am a perfect gar- 
reteer : great part of my library however consists of 
professional books. Have you read Burke on the 



198 HENRY KTRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

Sublime? Knox's Winter Evening? — Can lend them 
to you, if you have not. 

Really, Neville, were you fully sensible how much my 
time is occupied, principally about my profession, as a 
primary concern, and in the hours necessarily set apart 
to relaxation, on polite literature, to which as a hobby- 
horse I am very desirous of paying some attention, you 
would not be angry at my delay in writing, or my short 
letters. It is always with joy that I devote a leisure 
hour to you, as it affords you gratification ; and rest as- 
sured, that I always participate in your pleasure, and 
poignantly feel every adverse incident which causes you 
pain. 

Permit me, however, again to observe, that one of my 
sheets is equal to two of yours ; and I cannot but con- 
sider this as a kind of fallacious deception, for you 
always think that your letters contain so much more 
than mine, because they occupy more room. If you were 
to count the words, the difference would not be so great, 
You must also take into account the unsealed communica- 
tions to periodical works, which I now reckon a part of my 
letter, and therefore you must excuse my concluding, on 
the first sheet, by assuring 3^ou that I still remain 
Your Friend and Brother, 

H. K. White. 

P.S. A postscript is a natural appendage to a letter. — 
I only have to say, that positively you shall receive a six 
or eight sheet letter, and that written legibly, ere long. 



TO MR BOOTH. 

Nottingham, August 12th, 1801. 
Dear Sir, 

I must beg leave to apologize for not having re- 
turned my sincere acknowledgments to yourself and Mrs 
Booth, for your very acceptable presents, at an earlier 
period. I now, however, acquit myself of the duty, and 



LETTERS. 199 



assure you, that from both of the works I have received 
much gratification and edification, but more particularly 
from one on the Trinity,* a production which displays 
much erudition, and a very laudable zeal for the true in- 
terests of religion. Religious polemics, indeed, have 
seldom formed a part of my studies ; though, whenever 
I happened accidentally to turn my thoughts to the sub- 
ject of the Protestant doctrine of the Godhead, and com- 
pared it with Arian and Socinian, many doubts inter- 
fered, and I even began to think that the more nicely 
the subject was investigated, the more perplexing it 
would appear, and was on the point of forming a resolu- 
tion to go to heaven in my own way, without meddling 
or involving myself in the inextricable labyrinth of con- 
troversial dispute, when I received and perused this ex- 
cellent treatise, which finally cleared up the mists which 
my ignorance had conjured around me, and clearly pointed 
out the real truth. The intention of the author precluded 
the possibility of his employing the ornaments and 
graces of composition in his work ; for as it was meant 
for all ranks, it must be suited to all capacities ; but the 
arguments are drawn up and arranged in so forcible and 
perspicuous a manner, and are written so plainly, yet 
pleasingly, that I was absolutely charmed with them. 

The Evangelical Clergyman is a very smart piece; 
the author possesses a considerable portion of sarcastic 
spirit, and no little acrimony, perhaps not consistent with 
the Christian meekness which he wishes to inculcate. I 
consider, however, that London would not have many 
graces or attractions, if despoiled of all the amusements 
to which, in one part of his pamphlet, he objects. In 
theory, the destruction of these vicious recreations is very 
fine ; but in practice I am afraid he would find it quite dif- 
ferent. * * The other parts of this piece 
are very just, and such as every person must subscribe 
to. Clergymen, in general, are not what they ought to 

be ; and I think Mr has pointed out their duties 

very accurately. But I am afraid I shall be deemed im- 
pertinent and tiresome, in troubling you with ill-timed 

* Jones on the Trinitv. 



200 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

and obtrusive opinions, and beg leave, therefore to con- 
clude, with respects to yourself and Mrs Booth, by as- 
suring you that I am, according to custom from time im- 
memorial, and in due form, 
Dear Sir, 
Your obliged humble servant, 

Henry Kirke White. 



TO ME CHAELESWOETH. 

Nottingham, 1802. 

Dear Sir, 

I am sure you will excuse me for not having imme- 
diately answered your letter, when I relate the cause. — 
I was preparing, at that moment when I received yours, 
a volume of poems for the press, which I shall shortly 
see published. I finished and sent them off for London 
last night ; and I now hasten to acknowledge your letter. 

I am very happy that any poem of mine should meet 
with your approbation. I prefer the cool and dispas- 
sionate praise of the discriminate fevj 9 to the boisterous 
applause of the crowd. 

Our professions neither of them leave much leisure for 
the study of polite literature ; I myself have, however, 
coined time, if you will allow the metaphor ; and while 
I have made such a proficiency in the law as has ensured 
me the regard of my governors, I have paid my secret 
devoirs to the ladies of Helicon. My draughts at the 
a fountain Arethuse," it is true, have been principally 
made at the hour of midnight, when even the guardian 
nymphs of the well maybe supposed to have slept ; they 
are, consequently, stolen and forced. I do not see any- 
thing in the confinement of our situations, in the mean- 
time, which should separate congenial minds. A literary 
acquaintance is, to me, always valuable; and a, friend, 
whether lettered or unlettered, is highly worth cultivation. 
I hope we shall both of us have enough leisure to keep 



LETTEES. 201 



up an intimacy, which began very agreeably for me, and 
has been suffered to decay with regret. 

I am not able to do justice to your unfortunate friend 
Gill, I knew him only superficially, and yet I saw enough 
of his unassuming modesty, and simplicity of manners, to 
feel a conviction he had a valuable heart. The verses 
on the other side are perhaps beneath mediocrity ; they 
are, sincerely, the work of thirty minutes this morning, 
and I send them to you with all their imperfections on 
their head. 

Perhaps they will have sufficient merit for the Notting- 
ham paper ; at least their locality will shield them a 
little in that situation, and give them an interest they 
do not otherwise possess. 

Do you think calling the Naiads of the fountains 
" Nymphs of Pseon" is an allowable liberty? The al- 
lusion is to their healthy and bracing qualities. 

The last line of the seventh stanza contains an appa- 
rent pleonasm, to say no worse of it, and yet it was not 
written as such. The idea was from the shriek of 
Death (personified), and the scream of the dying man. 
* * * * 



ELEGY. 



Occasioned by the Death of Mr Gill, tuho was drowned in the 
river Trent, while bathing, 9th August 1802. 



He sunk — th' impetuous river roll'd along, 
The sullen wave betray'd his dying breath j* 

And rising sad the rustling sedge among, 

The gale of evening touch'd the chords of death. 

* This line may appear somewhat obscure. It alludes to the last 
bubbling of the water, after a person has sunk, caused by the final 
expiration of the air from the lungs; inhalation by introducing the 
water produces suffocation. 



202 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

II. 

Nymph of the Trent ! why didst not thou appear 
To snatch the victim from thy felon wave ? 

Alas ! too late thou cam'st to embalm his bier, 
And deck with water- flags his early grave. 

in. 

Triumphant, riding o'er its tumid prey, 
Rolls the red stream in sanguinary pride ; 

While anxious crowds, in vain, expectant stay, 
And ask the swoln corse from the murdering tide. 

IV. 

The stealing tear-drop stagnates in the eye, 
The sudden sigh by friendship's bosom proved, 

I mark them rise — I mark the gen'ral sigh : 
Unhappy youth ! and wert thou so beloved? 



On thee, as lone I trace the Trent's green brink, 
When the dim twilight slumbers on the glade ; 

On thee my thoughts shall dwell, nor Fancy shrink 
To hold mysterious converse with thy shade. 



Of thee, as early I, with vagrant feet, 

Hail the grey-sandal'd morn in Colwick's vale 

Of thee my sylvan reed shall warble sweet, 
And wild wood echoes shall repeat the tale. 



And oh ! ye nymphs of Paeon ! who preside 
O'er running rill and salutary stream, 

Guard ye in future well the Halcyon tide 
From the rude Death-shriek and the dying scream. 



LETTERS. 203 



TO MR M. HARRIS. 

Nottingham, 28th March 1802. 
Dear Sir, 

I was greatly surprised at your letter of the twenty- 
seventh, for I had in reality given you up for lost. I 
should long since have written to you, in answer to your 
note about the Lexicon, but was perfectly ignorant of 
the place of your abode. For anything I knew to the 
contrary, you might have been quaffing the juice of the 
cocoa-nut under the broad bananes of the Indies, breath- 
ing the invigorating air of liberty in the broad savannahs 
of America, or sweltering beneath the line. I had, how- 
ever, even then some sort of a presentiment that you 
were not quite so far removed from our foggy atmosphere, 
. but not enough to prevent me from being astonished at 
finding you so near us as Leicester. You tell me I must 
not ask you what you are doing ; I am nevertheless very 
anxious to know ; not so much, I flatter myself, from 
any inquisitiveness of spirit, as from a desire to hear of 
your welfare. Why, my friend, did you leave us ? pos- 
sessing as you did, if not exactly the otium cum digni- 
tate, something very like it ; having every comfort and 
enjoyment at your call, which the philosophical mind 
can find pleasure in ; and above all. blessed with that 
easy competence, that sweet independence, which renders 
the fatigues of employment supportable, and even agree- 
able. 

Quod satis est, cui contingit, nihil amplius optet. 

Certainly, to a man of your disposition, no situation 
could have more charms than yours at the Trent Bridge. 
I regard those hours which I spent with you there, while 
the moonbeam was trembling on the waters, and the 
harp of Eolus was giving us its divine swells and dying 
falls, as the most sweetly tranquil of my life. 
* * * * 

I have applied myself rather more to Latin than to 
Greek since you left us. I make use of Schrevelius's 



204 HENRY KIRKB WHITE'S REMAINS. 

Lexicon, but shall be obliged to you to buy me the 
Parkhurst, at any decent price, if possible. Can }-ou 
tell me any mode of joining the letters in writing in the 
Greek character ; I find it difficult enough. The fol- 
lowing is my manner ; is it right ?* 

* * * # 

I can hardly flatter myself that you will give yourself 
the trouble of corresponding with me, as all the advan- 
tage would be on my side, without anything to compen- 
sate for it on yours ; but — but in fact I do not know 
what to say further, — only, that whenever you shall 
think me worthy of a letter, I shall be highly gratified. 

* * * ^ 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, 10th February 1803. 
Dear Neville, 

* * * * 

Now with regard to the subscription, I shall certainly 
agree to this mode of publication, and I am very much 
obliged to you for what you say regarding it. But we 
must wait (except among your private friends) until we 
get Lady Derby's answer, and Proposals are printed. 
I think we shall readily raise 350, though Nottingham 
is the worst place imaginable for any thing of that kind. 
Even envy will interfere. I shall send proposals to 
Chesterfield, to my uncle ; to Sheffield, to Miss Gales's 
(booksellers), whom I saw at Chesterfield, and who have 
lately sent me a pressing invitation to S , accom- 
panied with a desire of Montgomery (the Poet Paul 
Positive), to see me ; to Newark — Allen and Wright, 
my friends there (the latter a bookseller) ; and I think 
if they were stitched up with all the Monthly Mirrors, 
it would promote the subscription. You are not to take 
any money ; that would be absolute begging : the sub- 
scribers put down their names, and pay the bookseller of 
whom they get the copy. 

* * * * 

* The few Greek words wliicli followed were beautifully written. 






LETTERS. 205 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, 10th March 1803. 
Dear Neville, 

I am cured of patronage -hunting ; I will not expose 
myself to any more similar mortifications, but shall 
thank you to send the manuscripts to Mr Hill, with a 
note, stating that I had written to the Duchess, and re- 
ceiving no answer, you had called, and been informed 
by a servant, that in all probability she never read the 
letter, as she desired to know what the book ivas left there 
for ; that you had, in consequence, come away with the 
manuscripts, under a conviction that your brother would 
give her Grace no further trouble. State also that you 
have received a letter from me, expressing a desire that 
the publication might be proceeded on, without any fur- 
ther solicitation or delay. 

A name of eminence was, nevertheless, a most desir- 
able thing to me in Nottingham, as it would attach more 
respectability to the subscription ; but I see all further 
efforts will only be productive of procrastination. 

# * * * 

I think you may as well begin to obtain subscribers 
amongst friends now, though the proposals may not be 
issued at present. 

I have got twenty-three, without making the affair 
public at all, among my immediate acquaintance : and 
mind, I neither solicit nor draw the conversation to the 
subject, but a rumour has got abroad, and has been re- 
ceived more favourably than I expected. 

* * * * 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, 2d May 1803. 
Dear Neville, 

I have just gained a piece of intelligence which much 
vexes me. Robinson, the bookseller, knows that I have 



206 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

written to the Duchess of Devonshire, and he took the 
liberty (certainly an unwarrantable one) to mention it 

to , whose was inscribed to her Grace. Mr 

said, that unless I had got a friend to deliver the 

poems, personally, into the hands of her Grace, it was 
a hundred to one that they ever reached her ; that the 
porter at the lodge burns scores of letters and packets a 
day, and particularly all letters by the twopenny post 
are consigned to the fire. The rest, if they are not par- 
ticularly excepted, as inscribed with a pass name on the 
back, are thrown into a closet, to be reclaimed at leisure. 
He said, the way he proceeded was this : — He left his 
card at her door, and the next day called, and was ad- 
mitted. Her Grace then gave him permission, with this 
proviso, that the dedication was as short as possible, and 
contained no compliments, as the Duke had taken offence 
at some such compliments. 

Now, as my letter was delivered by you at the door, I 
have scarcely a doubt that it is classed with the penny- 
post letters, and burnt. If my manuscripts are destroyed 
I am ruined, but I hope it is otherwise. However, I 
think you had better call immediately, and ask for a 
parcel of Mr H. White of Nottingham. They will, of 
course, say they have no such parcel ; and then, per- 
haps, you may have an opportunity of asking whether a 
packet, left in the manner you left mine, had any pro- 
bability of reaching the Duchess. If you obtain no satis- 
faction, there remains no way of re- obtaining my volume 
but this (and I fear you will never agree to put it in exe- 
cution) : to leave a card, with your name inscribed (Mr 
J. N. White), and call the next day. If you are ad- 
mitted, you will state to her Grace the purport of your 
errand, ask for a volume of poems in manuscript, sent 
by j^our brother a fortnight ago, with a letter (say from 
Nottingham, as a reason why I do not wait on her), re- 
questing permission of dedication to her ; and that as 
you found her Grace had not received them, you had 
taken the liberty, after many inquiries at her door, to re- 
quest to see her in person, 

I hope your diffidence will not be put to this test ; I 



LETTERS. 207 



hope you will get the poems without trouble ; as for 
begging patronage, I am tired to the soul of it, and shall 
give it up. 

-» » 7^ ■* 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, 1803. 

Dear Neville, 

I write you, with intelligence of a very important na- 
ture. You some time ago had an intimation of my wish 
to enter the church, in case my deafness was not removed. 
About a week ago I became acquainted with the He v. 
■ , late of St John's College, Cambridge, and in con- 
sequence of what he has said, I have finally determined 
to enter myself of Trinity College, Cambridge, w T ith the 
approbation of all my friends. 

Mr says that it is a shame to keep me away 

from the University, and that circumstances are of nc 
importance. He says, that if I am entered of Trinity, 
where there are all select men, I must necessarily, with 
my abilities, arrive at preferment. He says he will be 
answerable that the first year I shall obtain a Scholar- 
ship, or an exhibition adequate to my support. That by 
the time I have been of five years' standing, I shall of 
course become a Fellow (£200 a year); that with the Fel- 
lowship, I may hold a Professorship (£500 per annum); 
and a living or curacy until better preferments occur. 
He says, that there is no uncertainty in the church to a 
truly pious man, and a man of abilities and eloquence. 
That those who are unprovided for, are generally men 
who, having no interest, are idle drones, or dissolute 
debauchees, and therefore ought not to expect advance- 
ment. That a poet, in particular, has the means of 
patronage in his pen ; and that, in one word, no young 
man can enter the church (except he be of family) with 
better prospects than myself. On the other hand, Mr 
Enfield has himself often observed, that my deafness 



203 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS, 

will be an insuperable obstacle to me as an attorney, and 
has said how unfortunate a thing it was for me not to 
have known of the growing defect in my organs of hear- 
ing, before I articled myself. Under these circumstances, 
I conceive I should be culpable did I let go so good an 

opportunity as now occurs. Mr will write to all 

his University friends, and he says there is so much 
liberality there, that they will never let a young man 
of talents be turned from his studies by want of cash. 

Yesterday I spoke to Mr Enfield, and he, with unex- 
ampled generosity, said that he saw clearly what an 
advantageous thing it would be for me ; that I must be 
sensible what a great loss he and Mr Coldham would 
suffer ; but that he was certain neither he nor Mr 

C could oppose themselves to anything which was 

so much to my advantage. When Mr C returns 

from London, the matter will be settled with my mother. 

All my mother's friends seem to think this an excel- 
lent thing for me, and will do all in their power to for- 
ward me. 

Now we come to a very important part of the business 
— the means. 1 shall go with my friend Robert, in the 
capacity of Sizar, to whom the expense is not more than 
£60 per annum. Towards this sum my mother will con- 
tribute £20, being what she allows me now for clothes ; 
(by this means she will save my board) ; and, for the re- 
sidue, I must trust to getting a Scholarship, or Chape] 
Clerk's post. But, in order to make this residue certain, 
I shall, at the expiration of twelve months, publish a 
second volume of poems by subscription. 



My friend Mr says, that so far as his means 

will go, 1 shall never ask assistance in vain. He has 
but a small income, though of great family. He has 
just lost two rectories by scruples of conscience, and now 

preaches at for £80 a year. The following letter 

he put into my hand as I was leaving him, after having 
breakfasted with him yesterday. He put it into my 
hand, and requested me not to read it until I got home. 



LETTERS. . 9(j<J 



" 



It is a breach of trust letting you see it, but I wish yon 
to know his character. 
" My dear Sir, 
" I sincerely wish I had it in my power to render you 
any essential service, to facilitate your passing through 
College : believe me, I have the will, but not the means. 
Should the enclosed be of any service, either to purchase 
books, or for other pocket expenses, I request your ac- 
ceptance of it ; but must entreat you not to notice it, 
either to myself or any living creature. I pray God 
that you may employ those talents that he has given 
you, to his glory, and to the benefit of his people. I 
have great fears for you ; the temptations of College 
are great. Believe me 

" Very sincerely yours, 

*• & v£ 

The enclosure was £2, 2s. I could not refuse what 
was so delicately offered, though I was sorry to take it : 
he is truly an amiable character. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, 18G& 

Dear Xeville, 

You may conceive with what emotions I read yor.r 
brotherly letter ; I feel a very great degree of aversion 
to burthening my family any more than I have done, 
and now do ; but an offer so delicate and affectionate I 
cannot refuse ; and if I should need pecuniary assistance, 
which I am in hopes I shall not, at least after the first 
year, I shall, without a moment's hesitation, apply to 
my brother Xeville. 

My College schemes yet remain in a considerable 
degree of uncertainty ; I am very uneasy thereabouts. 
I have not heard from Cambridge yet, and it is very 
doubtful whether there be a vacant Sizarship in Trinity ; 



210 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

so that I can write you no further iuformation on this 
head. 

I suppose you have seen my review in this month's 
Mirror, and that I need not comment upon it : such a 
review I neither expected, nor in fact deserve. 

I sha 1 ! not send up the Mirror this month, on this 
account, as it is policy to keep it ; and you have, no 
doubt, received one from Mr Hill. 

The errors in the Greek quotation I perceived the 
moment T got down the first copies, and altered them, 
in most, with the pen ; they are very unlucky ; I have 
sent up the copies for the reviews myself, in order that 
I might make the correction in them. 

I have got now to write letters to all the Reviewers, 
and hope you will excuse my abrupt conclusion of this 
letter on that score. 

I am, dear Neville, 

Affectionately yours, 

H. K. White. 

I shall write to Mr Hill now the first thing ; I owe 
much to him. 



My dear Ben, 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

Nottingham, . 



And now, my dear Ben, I must confess your letter 
gave me much pain ; there is a tone of despondence in 
it which J must condemn, inasmuch as it is occasioned 
by circumstances which do not involve your own exer- 
tions, but which are utterly independent of yourself : if 
you do your duty, why lament that it is not productive ? 
In whatever situation we may be placed, there is a duty 
we owe to God and religion ; it is resignation ; — nay, I 
may say contentment. All things are in the hands of 
God • and shall we mortals (if we do not absolutely re- 



LETTERS. 211 



pine at his dispensations) be fretful under them ? I do 
beseech you, my dear Ben, summon up the Christian 
within you, and, steeled with holy fortitude, go on your 
way rejoicing ! There is a species of morbid sensibility 
to which I myself have often been a victim, which preys 
upon my heart, and, without giving birth to one actively 
useful or benevolent feeling, does but brood on selfish 
sorrows, and magnify its own misfortunes. The evils of 
such a sensibility, I pray to God you may never feel, 
but I would have you beware, for it grows on persons of 
a certain disposition before they are aware of it. 

I am sorry my letter gave you pain, and I trust my 
suspicions were without foundation. Time, my dear Ben, 
is the discoverer of hearts, and I feel a sweet confi- 
dence that he will knit ours yet more closely together. 

I believe my lot in life is nearly fixed ; a month will 
tell me whether I am to be a minister of Christ, in the 
established church, or out. One of the two I am now 
finally resolved, if it please God, to be. I know my own 
unworthiness ; I feel deeply that I am far from being 
that pure and undefiled temple of the Holy Ghost, that 
a minister of the word of life ought to be ; yet still I 
have an unaccountable hope that the Lord will sanctify my 
efforts, that he will purify me, and that I shall become 
his devoted servant. 

I am at present under afflictions and contentions of 
spirit, heavier than I have yet ever experienced. I think 
at times, I am mad and destitute of religion. My pride 
is not yet subdued ; the unfavourable review (in the 
Monthly) of my unhappy work, has cut deeper than you 
could have thought; not in a literary point of view, but 
as it affects my respectability. It represents me actually 
as a beggar, going about gathering money to put my- 
self at college, when my book is worthless ; and this with 
every appearance of candour. They have been sadly 
misinformed respecting me : this review goes before me 
wherever I turn my steps ; it haunts me incessantly, and 
I am persuaded it is an instrument in the hands of Satan 
to drive me to distraction. I must leave Nottingham. 
If the answer of the Elland Society be unfavourable, I 



212 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

propose writing to the Marquis of Wellesley, to offer 
myself as a student at the academy he has instituted at 
Fort William, in Bengal, and at the proper age to take 
orders there. The missionaries at that place have done 
wonders already, and I should, I hope, be a valuable 
labourer in the vineyard. If the Marquis take no notice 
of my application, or do not accede to my proposal, I 
shall place myself in some other way of making a meet 
preparation for the holy office, either in the Calvin istic 
Academy, or in one of the Scottish Universities, where I 
shall be able to live at scarcely any expense. 

"rfc "%: Tv ¥f 



TO MR R. A . 

Nottingham, 18th April 1804. 
My dear Robert, 

I have jut received your letter. Most fervently do 
I return thanks to God for this providential opening ; 
it has breathed new animation into me, and my breast 
expands with the prospect of becoming the minister of 
Christ where I most desired it ; but where I almost feared 
all probability of success was nearly at an end. Indeed, I 
had begun to turn my thoughts to the dissenters, as people 
of whom I was destined, not by choice, but necessity, to 
become the pastor. Still, although I knew I should be 
happy anywhere, so that I were a profitable labourer in 
the vineyard, I did, by no means, feel that calm, that 
indescribable satisfaction which I do, when I look toward 
that church, which I think in the main, formed on the 
apostolic model, and from which I am decidedly of opinion 
there is no positive ground for dissent. I return thanks 
to God for keeping me so long in suspense, for I know it 
has been beneficial to my soul, and I feel a considerable 
trust that the way is now about to be made clear, and 
that my doubts and fears on this head will, in due time, 
be removed. 

Could I be admitted at St John's, I conclude, from 
what I have heard, that my provision would be adequate: 



LETTERS. 213 



not otherwise. From my mother I could depend on £15 
or £20 a year, if she live, toward college expenses, and 
I could spend the long vacation at home. The £20 per 
annum from my brother would suffice for clothes, &c, so 
that if I could procure £20 a year more, as you seem to 
think I may, by the kindness of Mr Martyn, I conceive 
I might, with economy, be supported at college ; of this, 
however, you are the best judge. 

You may conceive how much I feel obliged by Mr 
Martyn on this head, as well as to you, for your unweary- 
ing exertions. Truly, friends have risen up to me in 
quarters w T here I could not have expected them, and they 
have been raised, as it were, by the finger of God. I 
have reason, above all men, to be grateful to the Father 
of all mercies for his loving kindness towards me ; surely 
no one can have had more experience of the fatherly 
concern with which God watches over, protects, and 
succours his chosen seed, than I have had ; and surely 
none could have less expected such a manifestation of 
his grace, and none could have less merited its continu- 



Tn pursuance of your injunction, I shall lay aside 
Grotius, and take up Cicero and Livy, or Tacitus. In 
Greek, I must rest contented for the ensuing fourteen 
days with the Testament : I shall then have conquered 
the Gospels, and, if things go on smoothly, the Acts. I 
shall then read Homer, and perhaps Plato's Phaedon, 
which I lately picked up at a stall. My classical know- 
ledge is very superficial ; it has very little depth or 
solidity ; but I have really so small a portion of leisure, 
that I wonder at the progress I do make. I believe I 
must copy the old divines, in rising at four o'clock ; for 
my evenings are so much taken up with visiting the 
sick, and with young men who come for religious con- 
versation, that there is but little time for study. 



214 HENRY KIKKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

Nottingham, 24th April 1804. 
My dear Ben, 

Truly I am grieved, that whenever I undertake to be 
the messenger of glad tidings, I should frustrate my 
own design, and communicate to my good intelligence a 
taint of sadness, as it were by contagion. Most joyfully 
did T sit down to write my last, as I knew I had where - 
w T ith to administer comfort to you ; and yet, after all, I 
find that by gloomy anticipations, I have converted my 
balsam into bitterness, and have by no means imparted 
that unmixed pleasure which I wished to do. 

Forebodings and dismal calculations are, I am con- 
vinced, very useless, and I think very pernicious specula- 
tions — " Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.'' And 
yet how apt are we, when imminent trials molest us. to 
increase the burthen by melancholy ruminations on future 
evils! — evils which exist only in our own imaginations 
— and which, should they be realized, will certainly arrive 
in time to oppress us sufficiently, without our adding tc 
their existence by previous apprehension, and thus vo- 
luntarily incurring the penalty of misfortunes yet in 
prospective, and trials yet unborn. Let us guard then, 
I beseech you, against these ungrateful divinations into 
the womb of futurity — we know our affairs are in the 
hands of One who has wisdom to do for us beyond oar 
narrow prudence, and we cannot, by taking thought, 
avoid any afflictive dispensation which God's providence 
may have in store for us. Let us therefore enjoy with 
thankfulness the present sunshine without adverting to 
the coming storm. Few and transitory are the intervals 
of calm and settled day with which we are cheered in 
the tempestuous voyage of life ; we ought therefore, to 
enjoy them, while they last, with unmixed delight, and 
not turn the blessing into a curse, by lamenting that it 
cannot endure without interruption. We, my beloved 
friend, are united in our affections by no common bands 
— bands which I trust are too strong to be easily dis- 



LETTERS. 215 



severed — yet we know not what God may intend with 
respect to us, nor have we any business to inquire — we 
should rely on the mercy of our Father who is in heaven 
— and if we are to anticipate, we should hope the best. 
I stand self accused therefore for my prurient, and, I 
may say, irreligious fears. A prudent foresight, as it 
may guard us from many impending dangers, is laudable : 
but a morbid propensity to seize and brood over future, 
ills, is agonizing, while it is utterly useless, and there- 
fore, ought to be repressed. 

I have received intelligence, since writing the above, 
which nearly settles my future destination. A in- 
forms me that Mr Martyn, a fellow of St. John's, has 
about £20 a- year to dispose of, towards keeping a reli- 
gious man at college, and he seems convinced that, if my 
mother allows me £20 a- year more, I may live at St 
John's, provided I could gain admittance, which, at that 
college is difficult, unless you have previously stood in the 
list for a year. Mr Martyn thinks, if I propose myself 
immediately, I shall get upon the foundation, and by this 
day's post I have transmitted testimonials of my classical 
acquirements. In a few days, therefore, I hope to hear 
that I am on the boards of St John's. 

Mr Dash wood has informed me, that he also has re- 
ceived a letter from a gentleman, a magistrate near Cam- 
bridge, ottering me all the assistance in his power towards 
getting through college, so as there be no obligation. 
My way, therefore, is now pretty clear. 

I have just risen from my knees, returning thanks to 
our heavenly Father for this providential opening — my 
heart is quite full. Help me to be grateful to him, and 
pray that I may be a faithful minister of his Word. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham. 
My dear Neville, 

I sit down with unfeigned pleasure to write, in com- 
pliance with your request, that I would explain to you 



216 HENRY KIRKE WHITES REMAINS. 

the real doctrines of the Church of England, or what is 
the same thing, of the Bible. The subject is most im- 
portant, inasmuch as it affects that part of man which is 
incorruptible, and which must exist for ever — his soul. 
When God made the brute creation, he merely embodied 
the dust of the earth, and gave it the power of locomotion, 
or of moving about, and of existing in a certain sphere. 
Jn order to afford mute animals a rule of action, by which 
they might be kept alive, he implanted in them certain 
instincts, from which they can never depart. Such is 
that of self- preservation, and the selection of proper food. 
But he not only endued man with these powers, but he 
gave him mind, or spirit — a faculty which enables him 
to ruminate on the objects which he does not see — to com- 
pare impressions— to invent — and to feel pleasure and 
pain, when their causes are either gone or past, or lie in 
the future. This is what constitutes the human soul. 
It is an immaterial essence — no one knows what it con- 
sists of, or where it resides ; the brain and the heart are 
the organs which it most seems to affect ; but it would 
be absurd to infer therefrom, that the material organs of 
the heart and the brain constitute the soul, seeing that 
the impressions of the mind sometimes affect one organ 
and sometimes the other. Thus, when any of the passions 
■ — love, hope, fear, pleasure, or pain, are excited, we feel 
them at our heart. Vfhen we discuss a topic of cool 
reasoning, the process is carried on in the brain ; yet 
both parts are in a greater or less degree acted upon on 
all occasions, and we may therefore conclude, that the 
soul resides in neither individually, but is an immaterial 
spirit, which occasionally impresses the one, and occasion- 
ally the other. That the soul is immaterial, hasbeen proved 
to a mathematical demonstration. When we strike, we 
lift up our arm — when we walk, we protrude our legs 
alternately — but when we think, we move no organ : 
the reason depends on no action of matter, but seems as 
it were to hover over us, to regulate the machine of our 
bodies, and to meditate and speculate on things abstract 
as well as simple, extraneous as well as connected with 
our individual welfare, without having any bond which 



LETTERS. 217 



can unite it with our gross corporeal bodies. The flesh 
is like the temporary tabernacle which the soul inhabits, 
governs, and regulates ; but as it does not consist in any 
organization of matter, our bodies may die, and return to 
the dust from whence they were taken, while our souls, 
incorporeal essences — are incapable of death and anni- 
hilation. The spirit is that portion of God's own im- 
mortal nature which he breathed into our clay at our 
birth, and which therefore cannot be destroyed, but will 
continue to exist when its earthly habitation is mingled 
with its parent dust, We must admit therefore, what 
all ages, and nations, savage as well as civilized, have 
acknowledged, that we have souls, and that as they are 
incorporeal, they do not die with our bodies, but are ne- 
cessarily immortal. The question then naturally arises, 
what becomes of them after death ? Here man of his 
own wisdom must stop : — but God has thought fit, in his 
mercy, to reveal to us in a great measure the secret of 
our natures, and in the Holy Scriptures we find a plain 
and intelligible account of the purposes of our existence, 
and the things we have to expect in the world to come. 
And here I shall just remark, that the authenticity and 
divine inspiration of Moses are established beyond a 
doubt, and that no learned man can possibly deny their 
authority. Over all nations, even among the savages of 
America, cut out as it were from the eastern world, there are 
traditions extant of the flood, of Noah, Moses, and other 
patriarchs, by names which come so near the proper ones, 
as to remove all doubt of their identity. You know man- 
kind is continually increasing in number ; and conse- 
quently, if you make a calculation backwards, the num- 
bers must continue lessening and lessening, until you come 
to a point where there was only one man. Well, according 
to the most probable calculation, this point will be found 
to be about 5800 years back, viz., the time of the crea- 
tion, making allowance for the flood. Moreover, there 
are appearances upon the surface of the globe, which de- 
note the manner in which, it was founded, and the pro- 
cess thus developed will be found to agree very exactly 
with the figurative account of Moses. — (Of this I shall 



213 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

treat in a subsequent letter.) — Admitting then, that the 
books of the Pentateuch were written by divine inspira- 
tion, we sae laid before us the whole history of our race, 
and, including the Prophets and the New Testament, the 
whole scheme of our future existence : we learn, in the 
first place, that God created man in a state of perfect 
happiness, that he was placed in the midst of everything 
that could delight the eye or fascinate the mind, and that 
he had only one command imposed upon him, which he 
was to keep under the penalty of death. This command 
God has been pleased to cover to our eyes with impene- 
trable obscurity. Moses, in the figurative language of 
the East, calls it eating the fruit of the Tree of Know- 
ledge of Good and Evil. But this we can understand, 
that man rebelled against the command of his Maker, 
and plunged himself by that crime, from a state of bliss 
to a state of sorrow, and in the end, of death. — By death 
here is meant, the exclusion of the soul from future 
happiness. It followed, that if Adam fell from bliss, 
his posterity must fall, for the fruit must be like the par- 
ent stock ; and a man made as it were dead, must like- 
wise bring forth children under the same curse. — Evil 
cannot beget good. 

But the benign Father of the universe had pity upon 
Adam and his posterity, and knowing the frailty of our 
nature, he did not wish to assume the whole terrors of 
his just vengeance. Still, God is a being who is infinitely 
just, as well as infinitely merciful, and therefore his de- 
crees are not to be dispensed with, and his offended jus- 
tice must have expiation. The case of mankind was de- 
plorable ; — myriads yet unborn were implicated by the 
crime of their common progenitor in general ruin. But 
the mercy of God prevailed, and Jesus Christ, the 
Messias, of whom all ages talked before he came down 
amongst men, offered himself up as an atonement for 
man's crimes. The Son of God himself, infinite in mercy, 
offered to take up the human form, to undergo the sever- 
est pains of human life, and the severest pangs of death ; 
he offered to lie under the power of the grave for a cer- 
tain period, and, in a word, to sustain all the punishment 



LETTERS. 219 



of our primitive disobedience in the stead of man. The 
atonement was infinite, because God's justice is infinite ; 
and nothing but such an atonement could have saved 
the fallen race. 

The death of Christ then takes away the stain of ori- 
ginal sin, and gives man at least the power of attain- 
ing eternal bliss. Still, our salvation is conditional, and 
we have certain requisitions to comply with ere we can be 
secure of heaven. The next question then is, What are 
the conditions on which we are to be saved ? The word 
of God here comes in again in elucidation of our duty ; 
the chief point insisted upon is, that we should keep 
God's Law contained in the Ten Commandments ; but as 
the omission or breach of one article of the two tables 
is a crime just of as great magnitude as the original 
sin, and entails the penalty on us as much as if we had 
infringed the whole ; God, seeing our frailty, provided a 
means of effecting our salvation, in which nothing should 
be required of us but reliance on his truth. God sent 
the Saviour to bear the weight of our sins ; he, therefore, 
requires us to believe implicitly, that through his blood 
we shall be accepted. This is the saccedaneum which 
he imposed in lieu of the observance of the moral law. 
Faith ! Believe, and ye shall be saved, — He requires 
from us to throw ourselves upon the Redeemer, to look 
for acceptance through him alone, to regard ourselves as 
depraved, debased, fallen creatures, who can do nothing 
worthy in his sight, and who only hope for mercy through 
the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Faith is the founda- 
tion stone : Faith is the superstructure ; Faith is all 
in all. — " By Faith are ye saved ; by Faith are ye 
justified/' 

How easy, my dear Neville, are the conditions God 
imposes upon us ! He only commands us to feel the tie 
of common gratitude, to trust in the mediation of his Son, 
and all shall be forgiven us. And shall our pride, our 
deluded imaginations, our false philosophy, interfere to 
blind our eyes to the beauties of so benevolent, so benign 
a system ! — Or shall earthly pleasures engross all our 
thoughts, nor leave space for a care for our souls ! — God 



220 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

forbid. As for Faith, if our hearts are hardened, and 
we cannot feel that implicit, that fervent belief, which 
the Scripture requires, let us pray to God that he will 
send his Holy Spirit down upon us, that he will enlighten 
Dur understanding with the knowledge of that Truth 
which is too vast, too sublime for human understandings, 
unassisted by Divine Grace, to comprehend. 

I have here drawn a hasty outline of the gospel plan 
of salvation. In a future letter I shall endeavour to fill 
it up. At present I shall only say, think on these things ! 
— They are of moment inconceivable. Read your Bible, 
in order to confirm yourself in these sublime truths, and 
pray to God to sanctify to you the instructions it con- 
tains. At present I would turn your attention exclu- 
sively to the New Testament. Read also the book which 
accompanies this letter ; — it is by the great Locke, and 
will serve to show you what so illustrious a philosopher 
thought of revelation. 



TO MR R. A . 

Nottingham, 7th May ISOi. 
Dear Robert, 

You don't know how I long to hear how your decla- 
mation was received, and " all about it, ' as we say in 
these parts. I hope to see it, when I see its author and 
pronouncer. Themistocles, no doubt, received due praise 
from you for his valour and subtlety ; but I trust you 
poured down a torrent of eloquent indignation upon the 
ruling principles of his actions, and the motive of his 
conduct; while you exalted the mild and unassuming 
virtues of his more amiable rival. The object of Them- 
istocles was the aggrandisement of himself, that of Aris- 
tides the welfare and prosperity of the state. The one 
endeavoured to swell the glory of his country ; the other 
to promote its security, external and internal, foreign 
and domestic. While you estimated the services which 
Themistocles rendered to the state, in opposition to those 



LETTERS. 221 



of Aristides, you of course remembered that the former 
had the largest scope for action, and that he influenced 
his countrymen to fall into all his plans, while they 
banished his competitor, not by his superior wisdom or 
goodness, but by those intrigues and factious artifices 
which Aristides would have disdained. Themistocles 
certainly did use bad means to a desirable end : and if 
we may asume it as an axiom, that Providence will for- 
ward the designs of a good sooner than those of a bad 
man, whatever inequality of abilities there may be be- 
tween the two characters, it will follow that — had Athens 
remained under the guidance of Aristides, it would have 
been better for her. The difference between Themis- 
tocles and Aristides seems to me to be this : that the 
former was a wise and a fortunate man, and that the 
latter, though he had equal wisdom, had not equal good 
fortune. We may admire the heroic qualities and the 
crafty policy of the one ; but to the temperate and dis- 
interested patriotism, the good and virtuous dispositions 
of the other, we can alone give the meed of heartfelt 
praise. 

I only mean by this, that we must not infer Themis- 
tocles to have been the better or the greater man, because 
he rendered more essential services to the state than 
Aristides, nor even that his system was the most judi- 
cious, — but only, that by decision of character and by 
good fortune, his measures succeeded best. 

& * * * 

The rules of composition are, in my opinion, very few. 
If we have a mature acquaintance with our subject, there 
is little fear of our expressing it as we ought, provided 
we have had some little experience in writing. The first 
thing to be aimed at is perspicuity. That is the great 
point which, once attained, will make all other obstacles 
smooth to us. In order to write perspicuously, we should 
have a perfect knowledge of the topic on which we are 
about to treat in all its bearings and dependencies. We 
should think well beforehand, what will be the clearest 
method of conveying the drift of our design. This is 
similar to what painters call the massing, or getting the 



222 HENRY KIKKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

effect of the more prominent lights and shades by broad 
dashes of the pencil. When our thesis is well arranged 
in our mind, and we have predisposed our arguments, 
reasonings, and illustrations, so as they shall all conduce 
to the object in view, in regular sequence and gradation, 
we may sit down and express our ideas in as clear a 
manner as w r e can, always using such words as are most 
suited to our purpose ; and when two modes of expres- 
sion, equally luminous, present themselves, selecting that 
which is the most harmonious and elegant. 

It sometimes happens that writers, in aiming at per- 
spicuity, overreach themselves by employing too many 
w r ords, and perplex the mind by a multiplicity of illustra- 
tions. This is a very fatal error. Circumlocution seldom 
conduces to plainness ; and you may take it as a maxim, 
that when once an idea is clearly expressed, every ad- 
ditional stroke will only confuse the mind and diminish 
the effect. 

When you have once learned to express yourself with 
clearness and propriety, you will soon arrive at elegance, 
Everything else, in fact, will follow as of course. But 
I warn you, not to invert the order of things, and be 
paying your addresses to the Graces, when you ought to 
be studying perspicuity. Young writers, in general, are 
too solicitous to round off their periods and regulate the 
cadences of their style. Hence the feeble pleonasms and 
idle repetitions which deform their pages. If you would 
have your compositions vigorous and masculine in their 
tone, let every word tell ; and when you detect your- 
self polishing off a sentence with expletives, regard your- 
self in exactly the same predicament with a poet who 
should eke out the measure of his verses with " titum, 
titum, tee, Sir." 

So much for style 



LETTERS. 223 



TO MR R. A- 



Nottingliam, 9th May 1804. 
My dear Friend, 

* -* * * 

I have not spoken as yet to Messrs Coldham and 
Enfield. Your injunction to suspend so doing has left 
me in a state of mind, which, I think, I am blameable for 
indulging, but which is indescribably painful. I had 
no sleep last night, partly from anxiety, and partly from 
the effects of a low fever, which has preyed on my nerves 
for the last six or seven days. I am afraid, Robert, my 
religion is very superficial. I ought not to feel this dis- 
trust of God's providence. Should I now be prevented 
from going to College, I shall regard it as a just punish- 
ment for my want of faith. 

I conclude Mr Martyn has failed in procuring the aid 
he expected. Is it so? 

* * % % 

On these contingencies, Robert, you must know from 
my peculiar situation I shall never be able to get to Col- 
lege. My mother, at all times averse, has lately been 
pressed by one of the deacons of Castlegate Meeting, to 
prevail on me to go to Dr Williams. This idea now fills 
her head, and she would feel no small degree of pleasure 
in the failure of my resources for College. Besides this, 
her natural anxiety for my welfare will never allow her 
to permit me to go to the University depending almost 
entirely on herself, knowing not only the inadequacy , 
but the great uncertainty, of her aid. Coldham and En- 
field must likewise be satisfied that my way is clear : I 
tremble, I almost despair. A variety of contending 
emotions, which I cannot particularize, agitate my mind. 
I tremble lest I should have mistaken my call : these are 
solemn warnings : but no — I cannot entertain the thought. 
To the ministry I am devoted, I believe, by God ; in 
what way must be left to his providence. 



224 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, June 1804. 
Dear Neville, 

In answer to your question, whether the Sizars have 
any duties to perform, I answer no. Somebody, perhaps, 
has been hinting that there are servile offices to be per- 
formed by Sizars. It is a common opinion, but perfectly 
erroneous. The Oxford Servitors, I believe, have many 
unpleasant duties ; but the Sizars at Cambridge only 
differ from the rest in name. 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

Nottingham, 15th June 1804. 
My dear Ben, 

I do not sit down to write you a long letter, for I 
have been too much exhausted with mathematics to have 
much vigour of mind left ; my lines will therefore be 
wider than they are wont to be, and I shall, for once, be 
obliged to diffuse a little matter over a broad surface. 
For a consolatory letter I trust you have little need, as 
by this time you have no doubt learned to meet with 
calmness, those temporary privations and inconveniences 
which, in this life, we must expect, and therefore should 
be prepared to encounter. 

* * * * 

This is true — this is Christian philosophy : it is a 
philosophy in which we must all, sooner or later, be insti- 
tuted, and which, if you stedfastly persist in seeking, I 
am sure God will assist you to your manifest comfort and 
peace. 

There are sorrows, and there are misfortunes, which 
bow down the spirit beyond the aid of all human comfort. 
Of these, I know, my dear Ben, you have had more than 
common experience ; but while the cup of life does over- 



LETTERS. 225 



flow with draughts of such extreme asperity, we ought 
to fortify ourselves against lesser evils, as unimportant to 
man, who has much heavier woes to expect, and to the 
Christian, whose joys are laid bej^ond the verge of mortal 
existence. There are afflictions, there are privations, 
where death, and hopes irrecoverably blasted, leave no 
prospect of retrieval ; when I would no more say to the 
mourner, " Man, wherefore weepest thou ? " than I would 
ask the winds why they blew, or the tempest why it 
raged. Sorrows like these are sacred ; but the inferior 
troubles of partial separation, vexatious occupation, and 
opposing current of human affairs, are such as ought not, 
at least immoderately, to affect a Christian ; but rather 
ought to be contemplated as the necessary accidents of 
life, and disregarded while their pains are most sensibly 
felt. 

Do not think, I beseech you, my dear Ben, that I wish 
to represent your sorrows as light or trivial ; I know 
they are not light ; I know they are not trivial : but I 
wish to induce you to sum up the man within you, and 
while those unhappy troubles, which you cannot alleviate, 
must continue to torment you, I would exhort you to rise 
superior to the crosses of life, and show yourself a genuine 
disciple of Jesus Christ, in the endurance of evil without 
repining, or unavailable lamentations. 

Blest as you are with the good testimony of an approv- 
ing conscience, and happy in an intimate communion 
with the all-pure and all-merciful God, these trifling 
concerns ought not to molest you; nay were the tide of 
adversity to turn strong against you, even were your 
friends to forsake you, and abject poverty to stare you in 
the face, you ought to be abundantly thankful to God 
for his mercies to you ; you ought to consider yourself 
still as rich ; yea, to look around you, and say, I am far 
happier than the sons of men. 

This is a system of philosophy which, for myself, I 
shall not only preach, but practise. We are here for 
nobler purposes than to waste the fleeting moments of 
our lives in lamentations and wailings over troubles 
which, in their widest extent, do but affect the present 



226 HENKY KIRKE WHITE'S KEMAINS. 

state, and which, perhaps, only regard our personal ease 
and prosperity. Make me an outcast — a beggar ; place 
me a bare-footed pilgrim on the top of the Alps or the 
Pyrenees, and I should have wherewithal to sustain the 
spirit within me, in the reflection that all this was but 
as for a moment, and that a period would come, when 
wrong, and injury, and trouble, should be no more. Are 
we to be so utterly enslaved by habit and association, 
that we shall spend our lives in anxiety and bitter care, 
only that we may find a covering for our bodies, or the 
means of assuaging hunger ? for what else is an anxiety 
after the world ? Or are even the followers of Christ 
themselves to be infected with the insane, the childish 
desire of heaping together wealth ? Were a man, in 
the way of making a large fortune, to take up his hat 
and stick, and say, " I am useless here, and unhappy ; 
I will go and abide with the Gentoo or the Paraguay, 
where I shall be happy and useful," he would be laughed 
at ; but I say he would prove himself a more reasonable 
and virtuous man, than him who binds himself down to 
a business which he dislikes, because it would be 
accounted strange or foolish to abandon so good a con- 
cern, and who heaps up wealth, for which he has little 
relish, because the world accounts it policy. 

T will refrain from pursuing this tone of reasoning ; 
T know the weakness of human nature, and I know that 
we may argue with a deal of force, to show the folly of 
grief, when we ourselves are its passive victims. But 
whether strength of mind prevail with you, or whether 
you still indulge in melancholy bodings and repinings, 
I am still your friend, nay, your sympathizing friend. 
Hard and callous and " unfeeling" as I may seem, I 
have a heart for my ever dear Benjamin. 

Henry Kirke White. 



LETTERS. 227 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Wilford, near Nottingham, 1804. 

Dear Neville, 

I now write to you from a little cottage at Wilford, 
where I have taken a room for a fortnight, as well for 
the benefit of my health , as for the advantage of unin- 
terrupted study. I live in a homely house, in a homely 
style, but am well occupied, and perfectly at my ease. 

And now, my dear brother, I must sincerely beg par- 
don for all those manifold neglects, of which I cannot 
but accuse myself towards you. When I recollect in- 
numerable requests in your letters which I have not 
noticed, and many inquiries I have not satisfied, I almost 
feel afraid that you will imagine I no longer regard your 
letters with, brotherly fondness, and that you will cease 
to exercise towards me your wonted confidence and 
friendship. Indeed, you may take my word, they have 
arisen from my peculiar circumstances, and not from 
any unconcern or disregard of your wishes. I am now 
bringing my affairs (laugh not at the word) into some 
regularity, after all the hurry and confusion in which 
they have been plunged, by the distraction of mind 
attending my publication, and the projected change of my 
destination in life. 

* $ % % 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Wilford, near Nottingham, 1804. 

Dear Neville, 

* * m * 

I have run very much on the wrong side of the post 
here ; for having sent copies round to such persons as 
had given me in their names as subscribers, with com- 
pliments, they have placed them to the account of pre- 
sents ! 

& * $£ & 



228 HENEY KIEKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

And now, my dear Neville, I must give you the most 
ingenious specimen of the invention of petty envy you 
perhaps ever heard of. When Addison produced " Cato," 
it was currently received, that he had bought it of a vicar 
for £40. The Nottingham gentry, "knowing me too poor 
to buy my poems, thought they could do no better than 
place it to the account of family affection, and lo ! Mrs 
Smith is become the sole author, who has made use of 
her brother's name as a feint ! I heard of this report 
first covertly ; it was said that Mrs Smith was the prin- 
cipal writer : next it was said that I was the author of 
one of the inferior smaller pieces only, (" My Study ;") 
and lastly, on mentioning the circumstances to Mr 

A , he confessed that he had heard several times 

that " my sister was the sole quill-driver of the family, 
and that Master Henry, in particular, was rather shal- 
low," but that he had refrained from telling me, because 
he thought it would vex me. Now as to the vexing me, 
it only has afforded me a hearty laugh. I sent my com- 
pliments to one great lady, whom I heard propagating 
this ridiculous report, and congratulated her on her in- 
genuity, telling her, as a great secret, that neither my 
sister or myself had any claim to any of the Poems, for 
the right author was the Great Mogul's cousin-german. 
The best part of the story is, that my good friend, Ben- 
jamin Maddock, found means to get me to write verses 
extempore, to prove whether I could tag rhymes or not, 
which, it seems, he doubted.* 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

Nottingham, 7th July 1804. 
My dear Ben, 

* * * * 

The real wants of life are few ; the support of the 
body, simply, is no expensive matter ; and as we are not 

* For verses, see p. 100. 



LETTEKS. 229 



mad upon silk and satins, the covering of it will not be 
more costly. The only superfluity I should covet would 
he books ; but I have learned how to abridge that plea- 
sure ; and having sold the flower of my library for the 
amazing sum of six guineas, I mean to try whether medi- 
tation will not supply the place of general reading, and 
probably, by the time I am poor and needy, I shall look 
upon a large library like a fashionable wardrobe, goodly 
and pleasant, but as to the real utility, indifferent. 

So much for Stoicism, and now for Monachism — I 
shall never, never marry ! It cannot, must not be. As 
to affections, mine are already engaged as much as they 
will ever be, and this is one reason why I believe my 
life will be a life of celibacy. I pray to God that it may 
be so, and that I may be happy in that state. I love too 
ardently to make love innocent, and therefore I say fare- 
well to it. Besides, I have another inducement, I can- 
not introduce a woman into poverty for my love's sake, 
nor could I well bear to see such a one as I must marry 
struggling with narrow circumstances, and sighing for 
the fortunes of her children. — No, I say, forbear ! and 
may the example of St Gregory of Naz. and St Basil 
support me. 

All friends are well, except your humble scribe, who 
has got a little too much into his old way since your de- 
parture. Studying, and musing, and dreaming of every- 
thing but his health ; still amid all his studyings, musings, 
and dreams, 

Your true friend and brother, 

H. K. White. 



TO THE EDITOR. 

Nottingham, 9th July 1804. 
* * * * 

I can now inform you, that I have reason to believe 
my way through College is clear before me. From what 
source I know not ; but through the hands of Mr Simeon 



230 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

I am provided with £30 per annum ; and while things 
go on so prosperously as they do now, I can command £20 
or £30 more from my friends, and this, in all probability, 
until I take my degree. The friends to whom I allude 
are my mother and brother. 

My mother has, for these five years past, kept a 
boarding school in Nottingham ; and, so long as her 
school continues in its present state, she can supply me 
with £15 or £20 per annum, without inconvenience ; but 
should she die (and her health is, I fear, but infirm), that 
resource will altogether fail. Still, I think, my prospect is 
so good as to preclude any anxiety on my part ; and per- 
haps my income will be more than adequate to my wants, 
as I shall be a Sizar of St John's, where the College 
emoluments are more than commonly large. 

In this situation of my affairs you will perhaps agree 
with me in thinking, that a subscription for a volume of 
poems will not be necessary ; and, certainly, that measure 
is one which will be better avoided, if it may be. I have 
lately looked over what poems I have by me in manuscript, 
and find them more numerous than I expected ; but 
many of them would perhaps be styled mopish, and maw- 
lash, and even misanthropic, in the language of the 
world ; though from the latter sentiment, I am sure I 
can say, no one is more opposite than I am. These 
poems, therefore, will never see the light, as, from a 
teacher of that word which gives all strength to the 
feeble, more fortitude and Christian philosophy may, 
with justice, be expected than they display. The re- 
mainder of my verses would not possess any great in- 
terest : mere description is often mere nonsense : and I 
have acquired a strange habit, whenever I do point out 
a train of moral sentiments from the contemplation of a 
picture, to give it a gloomy and querulous cast, when 
there is nothing in the occasion but w r hat ought to in- 
spire joy and gratitude. I have one poem,* however, 
of some length, which I shall preserve ; and I have 
another of considerable magnitude in design, but of 
which only a part is written, which I am fairly at a loss 

* Time, page 29, is probably the poem alhided to. 



LETTERS. 231 



whether to commit to the flames, or at some future op- 
portunity to finish. The subject is the death of Christ. 
I have no friend whose opinion is at all to be relied on 
to whom I could submit it ; and perhaps, after all, it 
may be absolutely worthless. 

With regard to that part of my provision which is de- 
rived from my unknown friend, it is of course additional; 
and as it is not a provision for a poet, but for a candi- 
date for orders, I believe it is expected, and indeed it 
has been hinted as a thing advisable, that I should 
barter the Muses for mathematics, and abstain from 
writing verses at least until I take my degree. If I find 
that all my time will be requisite, in order to prepare for 
the important office I am destined to fill, I shall certainly 
do my duty, however severely it may cost me ; but if I 
find I may lawfully and conscientiously relax myself at 
intervals with those delightful reveries which have 
hitherto formed the chief pleasure of my life, I shall, 
without scruple, indulge myself in them. 

I know the pursuit of truth is a much more important 
business than the exercise of the imagination ; and amid 
all the quaintness and stiff method of the mathematicians, 
I can even discover a source of chaste and exalted plea- 
sure. To their severe but salutary discipline, I must 
now " subdue the vivid shapings of my youth;" and 
though I shall cast many a fond lingering look to Fancy's 
more alluring paths, yet I shall be repaid by the antici- 
pation of days when I may enjoy the sweet satisfaction 
of being useful, in no ordinary degree, to my fellow- 
mortals. 

& & * # 



TO MR SERGEANT ROUGH. 

Nottingham, 24th July 1804. 
Dear Sir, 

* * & * 

I think Mr Moore's love poems are infamous, because 
they subvert the first great object of poetry, — the en- 



232 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

couragement of the virtuous and noble ; and metamor- 
phose nutritious aliment into poison. I think the Muses 
are degraded when they are made the handmaids of 
sensuality, and the bawds of a brothel. 

Perhaps it may be the opinion of a young man, but I 
think, too, the old system of heroic attachment, with all 
its attendant notions of honour and spotlessness, was, in 
the end, calculated to promote the interest of the human 
race ; for though it produced a temporary alienation of 
mind, perhaps bordering on insanity, yet with the very 
extravagance and madness of the sentiments there were 
inwoven certain imperious principles of virtue and 
generosity, which would probably remain after time had 
evaporated the heat of passion, and sobered the luxu- 
riance of a romantic imagination. I think, therefore, a 
man of song is rendering the community a service when 
he displays the ardour of manly affections in a pleasing 
light ; but certainly we need no incentives to the irregu- 
lar gratification of our appetites, and I should think it a 
proper punishment for the poet who holds forth the 
allurements of illicit pleasures in amiable and seductive 
colours, should his wife, his sister, or his child, fall a 
victim to the licentiousness he has been instrumental in 
diffusing. 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

Winteringham, 3d August 1804. 
My dear Ben, 

I am all anxiety to learn the issue of your proposal 
to your father. Surely it will proceed ; surely a plan 
laid out with such fair prospects of happiness to you, as 
well as me, will not be frustrated. Write to me the 
moment you have any information on the subject. 

I think we shall be happy together at Cambridge ; and 
in the ardent pursuit of Christian knowledge, and Chris- 
tian virtue, we shall be doubly united. We were be- 



LETTERS. 233 



fore friends ; now, I hope, likely to be still more em- 
phatically so. But I must not anticipate. 

I left Nottingham without seeing my brother Neville, 
who arrived there two days after me. This is a cir- 
cumstance which I must regret ; but I hope he will come 
this way, when he goes, according to his intention, to a 
watering place. Neville has been a good brother to 
me, and there are not many things which would give me 
more pleasure than, after so long a separation, to see 
him again. I dare not hope that I shall meet you and 
him together, in October, at Nottingham. 

My days flow on here in an even tenor. They are, 
indeed, studious days, for my studies seem to multiply 
on my hands, and I am so much occupied by them that 
I am becoming a mere book-worm running over the rules 
of Greek versification in my walks, instead of expatiat- 
ing on the beauties of the surrounding scenery. Win- 
teringham is, indeed, now a delightful place ; the trees 
are in full verdure, the crops are bronzing the fields, 
and my former walks are become dry under foot, which 
I have never known them to be before. The opening 
vista, from our churchyard, over the Humber, to the 
hills and receding vales of Yorkshire, assumes a thousand 
new aspects. I sometimes watch it at evening, when the 
sun is just gilding the summits of the hills, and the low- 
lands are beginning to take a browner hue. The showers 
partially falling in the distance, while all is serene above 
me ; the swelling sail rapidly falling down the river ; 
and, not least of all, the villages, woods, and villas on 
the opposite bank, sometimes render this scene quite en- 
chanting to me ; and it is no contemptible relaxation, 
after a man has been puzzling his brains over the in- 
tricacies of Greek choruses all the day, to come out and 
unbend his mind with careless thought, and negligent 
fancies, while he refreshes his body with the fresh air 
of the country. 

I wish you to have a taste of these pleasures with me ; 
and if ever I should live to be blessed with a quiet par- 
sonage, and that great object of my ambition, a garden, 
I have no doubt but we shall be, for some short intervals 



234 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



at least, two quiejt contented bodies. These will be our 
relaxations ; our business will be of a nobler kind. Let 
us vigilantly fortify ourselves against the exigencies of 
the serious appointment we are, with God's blessing, to 
fulfil ; and if we go into the Church prepared to do our 
duty, there is every reasonable prospect that our labours 
will be blessed, and that we shall be blessed in them. 
As your habits generally have been averse to what is 
called close application, it will be too much for your 
strength, as well as unadvisable in other points of view, 
to study very intensely ; but regularly you may, and 
must read ; and depend upon it, a man will work more 
wonders by stated and constant application, than by un- 
natural and forced endeavours. 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

Nottingham, September 1804. 
My dear Ben, 

By the time you will open this letter, we shall have 
parted, God only knows whether ever to meet again. 
The chances and casualties of human life are such as to 
render it always questionable whether three months may 
not separate us for ever from an absent friend. 

For my part, I shall feel a vacuum when you are gone, 
which will not easily be filled up. I shall miss my only 
intimate friend — the companion of my walks — the in- 
terrupter of my evening studies. I shall return, in a 
great measure, to my old solitary habits. I cannot as- 
sociate with , nor yet with ; has no place 

in my affections, though he has in my esteem. It was 
to you alone I looked as my adopted brother, and (al- 
though for reasons you may hereafter learn, I have not 
made you my perfect confidant) my comforter. — Heu 
mihi Amice Vale, longum Yale ! I hope you will some- 
times think of me, and give me a portion in your prayers, 
* * * * 



LETTERS. 235 



Perhaps it may be that I am not formed for friend- 
ship, that I expect more than can ever be found. Time 
will tutor me : I am a singular being, under a common 
outside. I am a profound dissembler of my inward feel- 
ings, and necessity has taught me the art. I am long 
before I can unbosom to a friend, yet I think I am sin- 
cere in my friendship : you must not attribute this to 
any suspiciousness of nature, but must consider that 
I lived seventeen years my own confidant, my own 
friend, full of projects and strange thoughts, and con- 
fiding them to no one. I am habitually reserved, and 
habitually cautious in letting it be seen that I hide any- 
thing. Towards you I would fain conquer these habits, 
and this is one step towards effecting the conquest. 

I am not well, Ben, to-night, as my hand- writing and 
style will show ; I have rambled on, however, to some 
length ; my letter may serve to beguile a few moments 
on your way. I must say good bye to you, and may 
God bless you, and preserve you, and be your guide and 
director for ever. Remember He is always with you ; 
remember that in Him you have a comforter in every 
gloom. In your wakeful nights, when you have not me 
to talk to, His ear will be bent down to your pillow ; what 
better bosom friend has a man than the merciful and 
benignant Father of all ? Happy, thrice happy, are you 
in the privilege of his grace and acceptance. 

Dear Ben, 
I am your true friend, 

H. K. White. 



TO MR K. SWAKN. 

High Pavement, 4th October 1804. 
Dear Kirke, 

# * :# * 

For your kind and very valuable present, I know not 
how to thank you. The Archbishop* has long been one of 

* Tillotson. 



236 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REGAINS. 

my most favourite divines ; and a complete set of his ser- 
mons really " sets me wp." I hope I am able to appreciate 
the merits of such a collection, and I shall always value 
them apart from their merit, as a memento of friendship. 

I hope that, when our correspondence begins, it will 
neither be lax nor uninteresting ; and that, on both sides, 
it may be productive of something more than mere 
amusement. 

While we each strive to become wiser in those things 
wherein true wisdom is alone to be found, we may 
mutually contribute to each other's success, by the com- 
munication of our thoughts : and that w T e may both be- 
come proficients in that amiable philosophy which makes 
us happier by rendering us better ; that philosophy which 
alone makes us wise unto salvation, is the prayer of, 
Dear Kirke, 
Your sincere friend, 

Henry Kirke White. 



TO MR JOHN CHARLESWORTH. 

Winteringliani 1804. 

*AMICE DlLECTE, 

Puderet me infrequentise nostrarum literarum, nisi 
hoc ex te pendere sentirem. Epistolas a te missas non 
prius accepi quam kalendis Decembris — res mihi acerba, 
nihilominus ad ferendum levior, dum me non tibi ex 
animo prorsus excidisse satis exploratum est. 

Gasivus sum, e litteris tuis amico Roberto dicatis, cum 
audirem te operam et dedisse et daturum ad Graecam 
linguam etiamnum excolendam cum viro omni doctrina 
erudito. — Satis scio te, illo duce, virum doctissimum et 
in optimarum artium studiis exquisitissimum futurum 
esse : haud tamen his facultatibus contentum, sed altiora 
petentem, nempe salutem humani generis et sancta verbi 
divini arcana. 

* This letter is not to be considered as a specimen of Henry's Latin- 
ty. It was written when he was only beginning those classical studies 
in which he afterwards made such progress. 



LETTERS. 237 



Vix jam, amice ! recreor e morbo a qud graviter aegro- 
tavi : vix jam incipio membra languore confecta in diem 
apertam trahere. Tactus arida manu febris spatiosas 
trivi noctes lacrymis et gemitu. Vidi cum in conspectu 
mortis eollocatus fuerim, vidi omnia clariora facta, intel- 
lexi me non fidem Christi satis servasse, non ut famulum 
Dei, fideliter vitam egisse. ^Egritudo multa prius celata 
patefacit. Hoc ipse sensi et omnes, sint sane religiosi 
sint boni, idem sentient. Sed ego praecipue causam 
habui cur me afflixerim et summisso animo ad pedem 
crucis abjecerim. Imo vero et lacrymas copiose effudi 
et interdum consolatio Sancti Spiritus turbinem animi 
placavit. Utinam vestigium hujus periculi semper in 
animo retineam ! 

Non dubito quin tibi gratum erit audire de moribus et 
studiis nostris. Praeceptor nobis, nomine Grainger, non 
e collegio educatus fuit, attamen doctrina haud mediocris 
est, pietate eximius. Hypodidascalus fuit in schola 
viri istius docti et admodum venerandi Josephi Milner, 
qui eum dilexit atque honoravit. Mores jucundi et faciles 
sunt, urbanitate ac lepore suaviter conditi, quanquam in- 
terdum in vultu tristis severitas inest. Erga bonos man- 
suetus, malis se durior gerit. — iEque fere est Pastor 
diligens, vir egregius, et praeceptor bonus. Cum isthoc 
legimus apud Graecos, Homerum et Demosthenem et 
Sanctas Scripturas, apud Latinos Virgilium, Ciceronem 
et aliquando in ludo Terentium. Scribimus etiam Latine, 
et constructions et elegantiae gratia ; nihilominus (hac 
epistola teste) non opus est dicendi tibi quam paululum 
ego ipse proficio. In scribendo Latine, praster consue- 
tudinem in lingua Anglicana, sum lentus, piger, ineptus. 
Verba stillant heu quam otiose, et quum tandem visa sint 
quam inelegantia ! Spero tamen usu atque animo dili- 
genter adhibendo deinde Latinis sermonibus aliquam 
adipisci facilitatem, nunc fere oportet me contentum esse 
cupire et laborare, paululum potiundo, magna moliendo. 

Intelligis, procul dubio, nos vicum incolere Wintering- 
hamiensis, ripis situm Humberi fluminis, sed nondum 
forsan sentias locum esse agrestem, fluviis, collibus, arvis, 
omni decore pervenustum. Domus nostra Templo Dei 



238 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

adjacet ; a tergo sunt dulces horti et terrenus agger ar- 
boribus crebre septus, quo deambulare solemus. Cir- 
cumcirca sunt rurales pagi quibus saepe cum otium aga- 
mus, post prandium imus. Est villa, nomine Whittonia, 
ubi a celsa rupe videre potes flumen Trentii vasto Hum- 
bero influentem, et paulo altius Oosem flumen. 

Infra sub opaca saxa fons est cui potestas inest in la- 
pidem materias alienas convertendi ; ab altissima rupe 
labitur in litus, muschum, conchas et fragiliores, ramos 
arborum in lapidem transmutans. In prospectu domus 
montes Eboracenses surgunt trans Humberum siti, sylvis 
et villis stipati, nunc solis radiis ridentes, nunc horridi 
nimbis ac procellis. Vela navium ventis impleta ante 
fenestras satis longo intervallo prolabuntur : dum supra 
in aere procelso greges anserum vastae longo clamore 
volitant. Saepe in animo revolvo verba ista Homeri : 

'Ao7gj iu KzifACdvt KavGTgiov dptyi Q&Ggci 

"jLvdoL KOtl %y&» WOT 6) VT Oil dyOtXhOftOLZVOl ITTiQyyiGVl 

Khayyrihov Tr^o'/totQi^ouTav, ofAUQc&ysl ?)£ T£i7iS t uoju, 
fig toju sOi/sol woTChM usZif cctto /coci xT^iaiolay 

'Ef WshlOV 'XQO'fciOVTQ ^KMfAoLvliQlOV , &C. 

* * * * 

Vale. Dum vitales auras carpam, 

Tuus, 

H. K. White. 



TO MR K. SWANN. 

Winteringham, 20th Oct. 1804. 
Dear Kirke, 

We are safely arrived, and comfortably settled, in 
the parsonage of Winteringham. The house is most de- 
lightfully situated close by the church, at a distance from 
the village, and with delightful gardens behind, and the 
Humber before. The family is very agreeable, and the 
style in which we live is very superior. Our tutor is not 
only a learned man, but the best pastor and most pleasing 



LETTERS. 



239 



domestic man I ever met with. You will be glad to "hear 
we are thus charmingly situated. I have reason to thank 
God for his goodness in leading me to so peaceful and 
happy a situation. 

The year which now lies before me, I shall, with the 
blessing of God, if I am spared, employ in very important 
pursuits ; and I trust that I shall come away not only a 
wiser but a better man. I have here nothing to interrupt 
me — no noise— no society to disturb, or avocations to call 
me off, and if I do not make considerable improvements, 
I do not know when I shall. 

We have each our several duties to perform ; and 
though God has been pleased to place us in very different 
walks of life, yet we may mutually assist each other by 
counsel, by admonition, and by prayer. My calling is 
of a nature the most arduous and awful ; I need every 
assistance from above, and from my companions in the 
flesh ; and no advice will ever be esteemed lightly by me, 
which proceeds from a servant of God, however trifling, 
or however ill-expressed. If your immediate avocations 
be less momentous, and less connected with the world to 
come, your duty is not the less certain, or the more lightly 
to be attended to — you are placed in a situation wherein 
God expects from you according to your powers, as well 
as from me in mine : and there are various dark and 
occult temptations, of which you are little aware, but into 
which you may easily and imperceptibly fall, unless up- 
held by the arm of Almighty God. You stand in need, 
therefore, to exercise a constant reliance on the Holy 
Spirit, and its influences, and to watch narrowly your 
own heart, that it conceive no secret sin ; for although 
your situation be not so dangerous, nor your duties so 
difficult, yet, as the masks which Satan assumes are 
various, you may still find cause for spiritual fear and 
sorrow, and occasion for trembling, lest you should not 
have exercised your talents in proportion to their extent. 
It is a valuable observation, that there is no resting-place 
in the spiritual progress — we must either go backward 
or forward, and when we are at a loss to know whether 
our motion be onward or retrograde, we may rest assured, 



240 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

that there is something wanting which must be supplied 
— some evil yet lurking in the heart, or some duty slightly 
performed. 

You remember I heard Mr on the night previ- 
ous to my departure ; I did not say much on his manner, 
but I thought it neat, and the sermon far better than I 
expected : but I must not be understood to approve alto- 
gether of Mr 's preaching. I think, in particular, 

he has one great fault, that is elegance — he is not suffi- 
ciently plain, Remember, we do not mount the pulpit 
to say tine things, or eloquent things ; we have there to 
proclaim the good tidings of salvation to fallen man ; to 
point out the way of eternal life ; to exhort, to cheer, 
and to support the suffering sinner : these are the glori- 
ous topics upon which we have to enlarge — and will these 
permit the tricks of oratory, or the studied beauties of 
eloquence ? Shall truths and counsels like these be 
couched in terms which the poor and ignorant cannot 
comprehend? — Let all eloquent preachers beware, lest 
they fill any man's ear with sounding words, when they 
should be feeding his soul with the bread of everlasting 
life ! Let them fear, lest, instead of honouring God, they 
honour themselves ! If any man ascend the pulpit with 
the intention of uttering &fine thing, he is committing 
a deadly sin. Remember, however, that there is a 
medium, and that vulgarity and meanness are cautiously 
to be shunned ;- but while we speak with propriety and 
chastity, we cannot be too familiar or too plain. I do 
not intend to apply these remarks to Mr individu- 
ally, but to the manner of preaching here alluded to. 
If his manner be such as I have here described, the ob- 
servations will also fit ; but, if it be otherwise, the re- 
marks refer not to him, but to the style reprobated. 
* # * * 

I recommend to you, always before you begin to study, 
to pray to God to enlighten your understanding, and give 
you grace to behold all things through the medium of 
religion. This was always the practice in the old Uni- 
versities, and, I believe, is the only way to profit by 
learning. 



LETTERS. 



241 



I can now only say a few words to you, since our re- 
gular hour of retiring fast approaches. I hope you are 
making progress in spiritual things, proportionally to 
your opportunities, and that you are sedulously endea- 
vouring not only to secure your own acceptation, but to 
impart the light of truth to those around you who still 
remain in darkness. 

Pray let me hear from you at your convenience, and 
my brother will forward the letter ; and believe me, 
My dear Kirke, 
Your friend and fellow-traveller in the 
Tearful sojourn of life, 

H. K. White. 



TO HIS MOTHER. 

Winteringham, 16th Dec. 1804. 
My dear Mother, 

Since I wrote to you last I have been rather ill, having 
caught cold, which brought on a slight fever. Thanks 
to excellent nursing, I am now pretty much recovered, 
and only want strength to be perfectly re-established. 
Mr Grainger is himself a very good physician , but when 
I grew worse,, he deemed it necessary to send for a medical 
gentleman from Barton ; so that, in addition to my ill- 
ness, I expect an apothecary's bill. This, however, will 
not be a very long one, as Mr Grainger has chiefly sup- 
plied me with drugs. It is judged absolutely necessary 
that I should take wine, and that I should ride. It is 
with very great reluctance that I agree to incur these 
additional expenses, and I shall endeavour to cut them 
off as soon as possible. Mr and Mrs Grainger have be- 
haved like parents to me since I have been ill : four and 
five times in the night has Mr G. come to see me ; and 
had I been at home, I could not have been treated with 
more tenderness and care. Mrs Grainger has insisted 
on my drinking their wine, and was very angry when I 
made scruples ; but I cannot let them be at all this ad- 
ditional expense — in some way or other I must pay them. 



242 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

as the sum I now give, considering the mode in which 
we are accommodated, is very trifling. Mr Grainger 
does not keep a horse, so that I shall be obliged to hire 
one ; but there will be no occasion for this for any length 
of time, as my strength seems to return as rapidly as it 
was rapidly reduced. Don't make yourself in the least 
uneasy about this, I pray, as I am quite recovered, and 
not at all apprehensive of any consequences. I have no 
cough, nor any symptom which might indicate an affec- 
tion of the lungs. I read very little at present. 

I thought it necessary to write to you on the subject 
now, as I feared you might have an exaggerated account 
from Mr Almond's friends, and alarm yourself. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Winteringham, Dec. 27, 1804. 
My dear Brother, 

I have been very much distressed at the receipt of 
your letter, accompanied by one from my mother, one 
from my sister, and from Mr Dash wood, and Kirke 
Swann, all on the same subject ; and, greatly as I feel 
for all the kindness and affection which has prompted these 
remonstrances, I am quire harassed with the idea that 
you should not have taken my letter as a plain account 
of my illness, without any wish to hide from you that I 
had been ill somewhat seriously, but that I was indeed 
better. 

I can now assure you, that I am perfectly recovered, 
and am as well as I have been for some time past. My 
sickness was merely a slight fever, rather of a nervous 
kind, brought on by a cold, and soon yielded to the proper 
treatment. I do assure you, simply and plainly, that I 
am now as well as ever. 

With regard to study, I do assure you that Mr 
Grainger will not suffer us to study at all hard ; our 
work at present is mere play. I am always in bed at 



LETTEES. 243 



ten o'clock, and take two walks in the day, "besides riding, 
when the weather will permit. 

Under these circumstances, my dear brother may set 
his mind perfectly at ease. Even change of air some- 
times occasions violent attacks, but they leave the patient 
better than they found him. 

I still continue to drink wine, though I am convinced 
there is no necessity for it. My appetite is amazingly 
large — much larger than when at Nottingham. 

I shall come to an arrangement with Mr Grainger 
immediately, and I hope you will not write to him about 
it. If Mr Eddy, the surgeon, thinks it at all necessary 
for me to do this constantly, I declare to you that I will ; 
but remember, if I should form a habit of this now, it 
may be a disadvantage to me when possibly circumstances 
may render it inconvenient — as when I am at College. 

My spirits are completely knocked up by the receipt 
of all the letters I have at one moment received. My 
mother got a gentleman to mention it to Mr Dashwood, 
and still representing that my illness was occasioned by 
study— a thing than which nothing can be more remote 
from the truth, as I have, from conscientious motives, 
given up hard study until I shall find my health better. 

I cannot write more, as I have the other letters to 
answer. I am going to ride to Barton, expressly to get 
advantage of the post for this day, in order that you may 
no longer give yourself a moment's uneasiness, where 
there is in reality no occasion. 

Give my affectionate love to James, and believe me, 
My dear Neville, 
Your truly affectionate brother, 

H. K. White. 

One thing I had forgotten— you mention my pecu- 
niary matters — you make me blush when you do so. 
You may rest assured that I have no wants of that kind, 
nor am likely to have at present. Your brotherly love 
and anxiety towards me has sunk deep into my heart ; 
and you may satisfy yourself with this, that whatever is 
necessary for my health shall not be spared, and that 



244 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

when I want the means of procuring these, I shall think 
it my duty to tell you so. 



TO HIS BROTHER JAMES. 

Midway between Winteringham and Hull, 
11th Jan. 1805. 
Dear James, 

You will not be surprised at the style of this letter, 
when I tell you it is written in the Winteringham 
Packet, on a heap of flour bags, and surrounded by a 
drove of fourteen pigs, who raise the most hideous roar 
every time the boat rolls. I write with a silver pen, 
and with a good deal of shaking, so you may expect very 
bad scribbling. I am now going to Hull, where I have 
a parcel to send to my mother, and I would not lose the 
opportunity of writing. 

I am extremely glad that you are attentive to matters 
of such moment as are those of religion ; and I hope you 
do not relax in your seriousness, but continue to pray 
that God will enable you to walk in the paths of right- 
eousness, which alone lead to peace. He alone, my dear 
James, is able to give you a heart to delight in his service, 
and to set at nought the temptations of the world. It 
may seem to you, in the first beginning of your Christian 
progress, that religion wears a very unpromising aspect, 
and that the gaieties of the world are indeed very 
delicious ; but I assure you, from what I have myself 
experienced, that the pleasures of piety are infinitely 
more exquisite than those of fashion and of sensual 
pursuits. It is true, they are not so violent or so intoxi- 
cating (for they consist in one even tenor of mind ; a 
lightness of heart, and sober cheerfulness, which none 
but those who have experienced can conceive) ; but they 
leave no sting behind them ; they give pleasure on re- 
flection, and will soothe the mind in the distant prospect. 
And who can say this of the world or its enjoyments ? 

Even those who seem to enter with the most spirit 
into the riotous and gaudy diversions of the world, are 



LETTERS. 245 



often known to confess that there is no real satisfaction 
in them ; that their gaiety is often forced, when their 
hearts are heavy ; and that they envy those who have 
chosen the more humble but pleasant paths of religion 
and virtue. 

I am not at all particular as to the place of worship 
you may attend, so as it be under a serious preacher, and 
so as you attend regularly. I should it a very good 
exercise for you, if you were to get a blank paper book, 
and were to write down in it anything which may strike 
you in the sermons you hear on a Sunday ; this would 
improve your style of writing, and teach, you to think on 
what you hear. Pray endeavour to carry this plan into 
execution, I am sure you will find it worth the trouble. 
You attend the church now and then, I conclude, and if 
you do, I should wish to direct your attention to our ad- 
mirable Liturgy, and avoid, if possible, remarking what 
may seem absurd in the manner it is repeated. 

I must not conceal from you that I am very sorry you 
do not attend some eminent minister in the church, such 
as Mr Cecil, or Mr Pratt, or Mr Crowther, in preference 
to the meeting ; since I am convinced a man runs less 
danger of being misled or of building on false founda- 
tions in the establishment than out, and this too for 
plain reasons ; dissenters are apt to think they are 
religious because they are dissenters—" for," argue they, 
" if we had not a regard for religion, why should we 
leave the Establishment at all ? The very act of leaving 
it shows we have a regard for religion, because we mani- 
fest an aversion to its abuses." Besides this, at the 
meeting-house you are not likely to hear plain and un- 
welcome truths so honestly told as in the church, where 
the minister is not so dependent on his flock, and the 
prayers are so properly selected, that you will meet with 
petitions calculated for all your wants, bodily and spiri- 
tual, without being left at the mercy of the minister to 
pray for what and in what manner he likes. Remember 
these are not offered as reasons why you should always 
attend the church, but to put you in mind that there are 
advantages there which you should avail yourself of, in- 



246 HENKY KIEKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

_ 

stead of making invidious comparisons between the two 
institutions. 

* * # # 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

Winteringham, 31st Jan. 1805. 
Dear Ben, 

I have long been convinced of the truth of what you 
say, respecting the effects of close reading on a man's 
mind, in a religious point of view, and I am more and 
more convinced that literature is very rarely the source 
of satisfaction of mind to a Christian. I would wish 
you to steer clear of too abstracted and subtle a mode of 
thinking and reasoning, and you will so be happier than 
your friend. A relish for books will be a sweet source 
of amusement and a salutary relaxation to you through- 
out life ; but let it not be more than a relish, if you 
value your own peace. I think, however, that you ought 
to strengthen your mind a little with logic, and for this 
purpose I would advise you to go through Euclid with 
sedulous and serious attention, and likewise to read 
Duncan through. You are too desultory a reader, and re- 
gard amusement too much ; if you wish your reading in 
good earnest to amuse you, when you are old, as well as 
now in your youth, you will take care to form a taste for 
substantial and sound authors, and will not be the less 
eager to study a work because it requires a little labour 
to understand it. 

After you have read Euclid, and amused yourself 
with Locke's sublime speculations, you will derive much 
pleasure from Butler's Analogy, without exception the 
most unanswerable demonstration of the folly of infidelity 
that the world ever saw. 

Books like these will give you more strength of mind, 
and consistent firmness, than either you or I now possess ; 
while on the other hand, the effeminate Panada of 
Magazines, Tales, and the tribe of penny-catching pam- 



LETTERS. 247 

phlets, of which desultory readers are so fond, only tend 
to enervate the mind, and incapacitate it for every species 
of manly exertion. 

* *• # * 

I continue to be better in health, although the weather 
is a great obstacle to my taking a proper proportion of 
exercise. I have had a trip to Hull of late, and saw the 

famous painter K. there, with whom I had a good 

deal of talk. He is a pious man and a great astronomer ; 
but in manners and appearance a complete artist. I 
rather think he is inclined to Hutchinsonian principles, 
and entertains no great reverence for Sir Isaac Newton. 

* % * * 



TO MR B. HADDOCK. 

Winteringham, 1st March 1805. 
My Dear Ben, 

^r * * * 

I hope and trust that you have at length arrived at 
that happy temperament of disposition, that, although 
you have much cause of sadness within, you are yet 
willing to be amused with the variegated scenes around 
you, and to join, when occasions present themselves, in 
innocent mirth. Thus, in the course of your peregrina- 
tions, occurrences must continually arise, which, to a 
mind willing to make the best of everything, will afford 
amusement of the chastest kind. Men and manners are 
a never- failing source of wonder and surprise, as they 
present themselves in their various phases. We may 
very innocently laugh at the brogue of a Somerset pea- 
sant — and I should think that person both cynical and 
surly, who could pass by a group of laughing children, 
without participating in their delight, and joining in 
their laugh. It is a truth most undeniable, and most 
melancholy, that there is too much in human life which 
extorts tears and groans, rather than smiles. This, how- 
ever, is equally certain, that our giving way to unre- 



I 



248 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

mitting sadness on these accounts, so far from ameliorat- 
ing the condition of mortality, only adds to the aggre- 
gate of human misery, and throws a gloom over those 
moments when a ray of light is permitted to visit the 
dark valley of life, and the heart ought to be making the 
best of its fleeting happiness. Landscape, too, ought to 
be a source of delight to you; fine buildings, objects of 
nature, and a thousand things which it would be tedious 
to name. I should call the man who could survey such 
things as these without being affected with pleasure, 
either a very weak minded and foolish person, or one of 
no mind at all. To be always sad, and always ponder- 
ing on eternal griefs, is what I call utter selfishness : I 
would not give twopence for a being who is locked up 
in his own sufferings, and whose heart cannot respond 
to the exhilarating cry of nature, or rejoice because he 
sees others rejoice. The loud and unanimous chirping 
of the birds on a fine sunny morning pleases me, be- 
cause I see they are happy : and I should be very selfish, 
did I not participate in their seeming joy. Do not, 
however, suppose that I mean to exclude a man's own 
sorrows from his thoughts, since that is an impossibility, 
and, were it possible, would be prejudicial to the human 
heart. I only mean that the whole mind is not to be 
incessantly engrossed with its cares, but with cheerful 
elasticity to bend itself occasionally to circumstances, and 
give way without hesitation to pleasing emotions. To 
be pleased with little, is one of the greatest blessings. 

Sadness is itself sometimes infinitely more pleasing 
than joy ; but this sadness must be of the expansive and 
generous kind, rather referring to mankind at large, than 
the individual ; and this is a feeling not incompatible 
with cheerfulness and a contented spirit. There is diffi- 
culty, however, in setting bounds to a pensive disposi- 
tion ; I have felt it, and I have felt that I am not always 
adequate to the task. I sailed from Hull to Barton the 
day before yesterday, on a rough and windy day, in a 
vessel filled with a marching regiment of soldiers : the 
band played finely, and I was enjoying the many pleasant 
emotions which the water, sky, winds, and musical in- 



LETTERS. 249 



struments excited, when my thoughts were suddenly 
called away to more melancholy subjects. A girl, gen- 
teelly dressed, and with a countenance which, for its 
loveliness, a painter might have copied for Hebe, with 
a loud laugh seized me by the great coat, and asked me 
to lend it her : she "was one of those unhappy creatures 
who depend on the brutal and licentious for a bitter 
livelihood, and was now following in the train of one of 
the officers. I was greatly affected by her appearance 
and situation, and more so by that of another female 
who was with her, and who, with less beauty, had a wild 
sorrowfulness in her face, which showed she knew her 
situation. This incident, apparently trifling, induced a 
train of reflections, which occupied me fully during a walk 
of six or seven miles to our parsonage. At first I wished 
that I had fortune to erect an asylum for all the miser- 
able and destitute : — and there was a soldier's wife, with 
a wan and a hagged face, and a little infant in her arms, 
whom I would also have wished to place in it. I then 
grew out of humour with the world, because it was so 
unfeeling and so miserable, and because there was no 
cure for its miseries ; and I wished for a lodging in the 
wilderness, where I might hear no more of wrongs, afflic- 
tion, or vice : but, after all my speculations, I found 
there was a reason for these things in the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ, and that to those who sought it there w r as 
also a cure. So I banished my vain meditations, and 
knowing that God's providence is better able to direct 
the affairs of men than our wisdom — I leave them in His 
hands. 



TO HIS MOTHER. 

Winteringham, 5th Feb. 1805. 
Dear Mother, 

* # # # 

The spectacles for my father are, I hope, such as will 
enable him to read with ease, although they are not set 



250 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

in silver. If they hurt him through stiffness, I think 
the better way will be to wear them with the two end 
joints shut to, and with a piece of ribbon to go round 
the back of the head, &c. The Romaine's Sermons, and 
the cheap tracts, are books which I thought might be 
useful. You may think I am not yet privileged to make 
presents, since they will in the end come out of your 
pocket ; but I am not in want of cash at present, and 
have reason to believe, from my own calculations, I shall 
not have occasion to call upon you for what I know you 
can so ill spare. I was quite vexed afterwards that I 
did not send you all the volumes of the Cheap Reposi- 
tory, as the others, which are the general tracts, and 
such as are more entertaining, would have been well 
adapted to your library. When I next go to Hull, I 
purpose buying the remaining volumes ; and when I 
next have occasion to send a parcel, you will receive 
them. The volume you have now got contains all the 
Sunday reading tracts, and on that account I sent it 
separately. As I have many things to remind me of 
my sister Smith, I thought (though we neither of us need 
such mementos) that she would not be averse to receive 
the Sermons of the great and good, though in some re- 
spects singular, Romaine, at my hands, as what old- 
fashioned people would call a token of a brother's love, 
but what in more courtly phrase is denominated a me- 
mento of affection. 



TO MR SERGEANT ROUGH. 

Winteringham, 17th Feb. 1805. 
My dear Sin, 

I blush when I look back to the date of your too long 
unanswered letter, and were I not satisfied that the con- 
tents of my sheet of post must always be too unimportant 
to need apology, I should now make one. 

The fine and spirited song (song in the noblest sense 
of the word) which you sent me, on the projected inva- 



LETTERS. 251 



sion, demands ray best thanks. The fervid patriotism 
which animates it, would, I think, iind an echo in every 
bosom in England ; and I hope and trust the world has 
not been deprived of so appropriate an exhortation. I 
perceive, however, one thing, which is, that your fire has 
been crampt by the " crambo" of the rhyme, at all times 
a grievous shackle to poets, and yet capable of such sweet 
and expressive modulation, as makes us hug our chains, 
and exult in the hard servitude. My poor neglected 
muse has lain absolutely unnoticed by me for the last 
four months, during which period I have been digging 
in the mines of Scapula for Greek roots ; and, instead 
of drinking, with eager delight, the beauties of Virgil, 
have been cutting and drying his phrases for future use. 
The place where I live is on the banks of the Humber ; 
here no Sicilian river, but rough with cold winds, and 
bordered with killing swamps. What with neglect, and 
what with the climate, so congenial to rural meditation, 
I fear my good Genius, who was wont to visit me with 
nightly visions u in woods and brakes, and by the river's 
marge," is now dying of a fen -ague ; and I shall thus 
probably emerge from my retreat, not a hair-brained son 
of imagination, but a sedate black-lettered book- worm, 
with a head like an etymologicon magnum. 

Forgive me this flippancy, in which I am not very 
apt to indulge, and let me offer my best wishes that it 
is not with your muse as with mine. Eloquence has 
always been thought akin to poetry : though her efforts 
are not so effectually perpetuated, she is not the less 
honoured, or her memory the less carefully preserved. 
Many very plausible hypotheses are contradicted by facts, 
yet I should imagine that the genius which prompted 
your " Conspiracy" would be no common basis on which 
to erect a superstructure of oratorical fame. — " Est enim 
oratori finitimus Poeta, numeris adstrictior paulo, ver- 
boium autem licentia liberior, multis vero ornandi gene- 
ribus socius, ac pene par," &c. You, no doubt, are well 
acquainted with this passage, in the 1st Dial. De Orat., 
so I shall not go on with it ; but I encourage a hope, 
that I shall one day see a living proof of the truth of 



252 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

this position in you. Do not quite exclude me from a 
kind of fellow-feeling with you in your oratorical pur- 
suits, for you know I must make myself a fit herald for 
the important message I am ordained to deliver, and I 
shall bestow some pains to this end. No inducement 
whatever should prevail on me to enter into orders, if I 
were not thoroughly convinced of the truth of the reli- 
gion I profess, as contained in the New Testament ; and 
I hope that whatever I know to be the truth, I shall not 
hesitate to proclaim, however much it may be disliked or 
despised. The discovery of Truth, it is notorious, ought 
to be the object of all true philosophy ; and the attain- 
ment of this end must, to a philosopher, be the greatest of 
all possible blessings. If then a man be satisfied that he 
has arrived at the fountainheacl of pure Truth, and yet, 
because the generality of men hold different sentiments, 
dares not avow it, but tacitly gives assent to falsehood, 
he withholds from men what, according to his principles, 
it is for their good to know — he prefers his personal 
good to Truth — and he proves that, whatever he may 
profess, he is not imbued with the spirit of true philo 
sophy. 

I have some intention of becoming a candidate for Sir 
William Brown's medals this year ; and if I should, it 
would be a great satisfaction to me to subject my attempts 
to so good a classic as I understand you to be. In the 
mean time, you will confer a real favour on me, if you 
will transcribe some of your Latin verses for me, as I 
am anxious to see the general character of modern Latin 
as it is received at Cambridge ; and elegant verses always 
give me great pleasure, in whatever language I read 
them. Such I know yours will be. 



In this remote corner of the world, where we have 
neither books nor booksellers, I am as ignorant of the 
affairs of the literary world as an inhabitant of Siberia. 
Sometimes the newspaper gives me some scanty hints ; 
but, as I do not see a review, I cannot be said to hold 
converse with the Republic. Pray is the voice of the 



_j 



LETTERS. 253 



Muses quite suspended in the clang of arms, or do they yet 
sing, though unheeded ? All literary information will be 
to me quite new and interesting ; but do not suppose I 
hope to intrude on your more valuable time with these 
things. When you shall have leisure, I hope to hear 
from you ; and whatever you say, coming from you, it 
cannot fail to interest. 

Believe me, dear Sir, 

Very sincerely yours, 

H. K. White. 



TO MR K. SWANN. 

Winteringham, 16th March 1805. 
Dear Kirke, 

* € * * 

I was affected by the death of young B . He 

once called upon me, with Mr H , when I was very 

ill, and on that occasion Mr H said to us both, 

" Young men, I ivould have you both pack off to Lisbon, 

for you won't last long if you stay here." Mr was 

then about to set out for Hamburgh ; and he told me 
afterwards, that he never expected to see me again, for 
that he thought I was more desperately gone in con- 
sumption than B . Yet you see how the good pro- 
vidence of God has spared me, and I am jet living, as I 
trust, to serve him with all my strength. Had I died 
then, I should have perished for ever ; but I have now 
hope, through the Lord Jesus, that I shall see the day of 
death with joy, and possibly be the means of rescuing 
others from a similar situation. I certainly thought of 
the ministry at first with improper motives, and my 
views of Christianity were for a long time very obscure ; 
but I have, I trust, gradually been growing out of dark- 
ness into light, and I feel a well-grounded hope, that 
God has sanctified my heart for great and valuable pur- 
poses. Woe be unto me if I frustrate his designs. 
* * * * 



254 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 



Dear Neville, 



Winteringham, April 1805. 



You wrote me a long sheet this time, and I have 
every reason to be satisfied with it, yet I sometimes wish 
I could make you write closer and smaller. Since your 
mind must necessarily be now much taken up with other 
things, I dare not press my former inquiries on subjects 
of reading. When your leisure season comes, I shall 
be happy to hear from you on these topics. 

It is a remark of an ancient philosophical poet (Horace), 
that every man thinks his neighbour's condition happier 
than his own ; and, indeed, common experience shows 
that we are too apt to entertain romantic notions of ab- 
sent, and to think meanly of present, things ; to extol 
what we have had no experience of, and to be discon- 
tented with what we possess. The man of business sighs 
for the sweets of leisure : the person who, with a taste 
for reading, has few opportunities for it, thinks that 
man's life the sum of bliss who has nothing to do but to 
study. Yet it often happens that the condition of the 
envier is happier than that of the envied. You have 
read Dr Johnson's tale of the poor tallow-chandler, who, 
after sighing for the quiet of country life, at length 
scraped money enough to retire, but found his long- 
sought-for leisure so insupportable, that he made a vo- 
luntary offer to his successor to come up to town every 
Friday, and melt tallow for him gratis. It would be so 
with half the men of business, who sigh so earnestly for 
the sweets of retirement ; and you may receive it as one 
of the maturest observations I have been able to make 
on human life, that there is no condition so happy as that 
of him who leads a life of full and constant employment 
His amusements have a zest which men of pleasure would 
gladly undergo all his drudgery to experience ; and the 
regular succession of business, provided his situation be 



LETTERS. 255 



not too anxious, drives away from bis brain those harass- 
ing speculations which are continually assaulting the 
man of leisure, and the man of reading. The studious 
man, though his pleasures are of the most refined species, 
finds cares and disturbing thoughts in study. To think 
much and deeply will soon make a man sad. His 
thoughts, ever on the wing, often carry him where he 
shudders to be even in imagination. He is like a man 
in sleep — sometimes his dreams are pleasing, but at 
others horror itself takes possession of his imagination ; 
and this inequality of mind is almost inseparable from 
much meditation and mental exercise. From this cause 
it often happens, that lettered and philosophical men are 
peevish in their tempers and austere in their manners. 
The inference I would draw from these remarks is gene- 
rally this, that although every man carries about him the 
seeds of happiness or misery in his own bosom, yet it is 
a truth not liable to many exceptions, that men are more 
equally free from anxiety and care, in proportion as they 
recede from the more refined and mental, to the grosser 
and bodily employments and modes of life, but that the 
happiest condition is placed in the middle, between the 
extremes of both. Thus a person with a moderate love 
of reading, and few opportunities of indulging it, would 
be inclined to envy one in my situation, because such a 
one has nothing to do but to read ; but I could tell him, 
that though my studious pleasures are more comprehen- 
sive than his, they are not more exquisite, and that an 
occasional banquet gives more delight than a continual 
feast. Reading should be dearer to you than to me, 
because I always read, and you but seldom. 

Almond and I took a small boat on Monday, and set 
out for Hull, a distance of thirteen miles, as some com- 
pute it, though others make it less. We went very 
merrily with a good pair of oars, until w r e came within 
four miles, of Hull, when, owing to some hard working, 
we were quite exhausted ; but as the tide was nearly 
down, and the shore soft, we could not get to any villages 
on the banks. At length we made Hull, and just arrived 
in time to be grounded in the middle of the harbour, 



256 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



without any possible means of getting ashore till the flux 
or flood. As we were half- famished, I determined to 
wade ashore for provisions, and had the satisfaction of 
getting above the knees in mud almost every step I made. 
When I got ashore I recollected I had given Almond all 
my cash. This was a terrible dilemma — to return back 
was too laborious, and I expected the tide flowing every 
minute. At last I determined to go to the inn where we 
usually dine when we go to Hull, and try how much 
credit I possessed there, and I happily found no difficulty 
in procuring refreshments, which I carried off in triumph 
to the boat. Here new difficulties occurred ; for the tide 
had flowed in considerably during my absence, although 
not sufficiently to move the boat, so that my wade was 
much worse back than it had been before. On our re- 
turn, a most placid and calm day was converted into a 
cloudy one, and we had a brisk gale in our teeth. Know- 
ing we were quite safe, we struck across from Hull to 
Barton ; and when we were off Hazel Whelps, a place 
which is always rough, we had some tremendous swells, 
which we weathered admirably, and (bating our getting 
on the wrong side of a bank, owing to the deceitful ap- 
pearance of the coast) we had a prosperous voyage home, 
having rowed twenty-six miles in less than five hours. 



TO MR K. SWANN. 

"VVinteringham, 6th April 1805. 
My dear Kirke, 

* * * * 

Your complaint of the lukewarmness of your affec- 
tions towards spiritual things, is a very common one with 
Christians. We all feel it; and if it be attended with 
an earnest desire to acquit ourselves in this respect, and to 
recover our wonted fervour, it is a complaint indicative 
of our faithfulness. In cases of Christian experience, I 
submit my own opinion to anybody's, and have too seri- 



LETTERS. 257 



ous a distrust of it myself to offer it as a rule or maxim 
of unquestionable authority ; but I have found, and think, 
that the best remedy against lukewarmness is an obsti- 
nate persisting in prayer until our affections be moved, 
and a regular habit of going to religious duties with a 
prepared and meek heart, thinking more of obtaining 
communion with God than of spending so many minutes 
in seeking it. Thus, when we pray, we must not kneel 
down with the idea that we are to spend so many minutes in 
supplication, and after the usual time has elapsed, go 
about our regular business ; we must remind ourselves 
that we have an object in prayer, and that until that ob- 
ject be attained, that is, until we are satisfied that our 
Father hears us, we are not to conceive that our duty is 
performed, although we may be in the posture of prayer 
for an hour. 



TO HIS MOTHER. 

Winteringham, 12th April 1805. 
My dear Mother, 

* * * * 

I have constructed a planetarium, or orrery, of a very 
simple kind, which cannot fail to give even children an 
idea of the order and course of the heavenly bodies. I 
shall write a few plain and simple lectures upon it, with 
lessons to be got off by heart by the children, so that 
you will be able, without any difficulty, to teach them 
the rudiments of astronomy. The machine, simple as 
it may seem, is such, that you cannot fail to understand 
the planetary system by it ; and were it not that I cannot 
afford the additional expense, I could make it much more 
complete and interesting. You must not expect anything 
striking in the instrument itself, as it only consists of 
an index plate, with rods and balls. It will explain the 
situation of the planets, their courses, the motion of the 
earth and moon, the causes of the seasons, the different 



258 ITENKY KIKKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

lengths of day and night, the reason of eclipses, tran- 
sits, &c. When you have seen it, and read the explana- 
tory lectures, you will be able to judge of its plainness ; 
and if you find you understand it, you may teach geo- 
graphy scholars its use. Should it fail in other points of 
view, it will be useful to Maria and Catherine. 
* * * * 

Remember to keep up the plan of family worship on 
Sundays with strictness until I come, and it will probably 
pave the way for still further improvements, which I may, 
perhaps, have an opportunity of making while I stay 
with you. Let Maria and Catherine be more particularly 
taught to regard Sunday as a day set apart from all 
worldly occupations : let them have everything prepared 
for the Sabbath on the preceding day ; and be carefully 
warned, on that day in particular, to avoid paying too 
great an attention to dress. I know how important habits 
like these will be to their future happiness even in this 
world, and I therefore press this with earnestness. 
* * * * 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

"WiDteringham, 20th May 1805. 
My dear Neville, 

* * * -* 

My first business must be to thank you for the 

which I received by Mr K. Swann. You must not sup- 
pose that I feel reluctance to lie under obligations to so 
aiFectionate a brother, when I say, that I have felt uneasy 
ever since on more accounts than one. I am convinced, 
in the first place, that you have little to spare ; and I 
fear in the second, that I shall prove a hindrance to a 
measure which I know to be necessary for your health ; 
I mean your going to some watering-place for the benefit 
of sea-bathing. I am aware of the nature of injuries re- 
ceived at the joints, especially the knee : and I am sure 
nothing will strengthen your knee more for the present, 
and prevent the recurrence of disease in it for the future. 



LETTERS. 259 



I would have you, therefore, if by any means you can be 
spared in London, go to one of the neighbouring coasts, 
and take sufficient time to recover your strength. You 
may pitch upon some pleasant place, where there will be 
sufficient company to amuse you, and not so much as to 
create bustle, and make a toil of reflection, and turn re- 
tirement into riot. Since you must be as sensible as I 
am, that this is necessary for your health, I shall feel 
assured, if you do not go, that I am the cause, a con- 
sideration I would gladly spare myself. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

Nottingham, June 1805. 
My dear Brother, 

I wrote you a long letter from Winteringham some 
time ago, which I now apprehend you have never re- 
ceived, or, if you have, some more important concerns 
have occupied your time than writing to me on general 
subjects. Feeling, however, rather weary to-night, I 
have determined to send this sheet to you, as a proof 
that if I am not a 'punctual, I am certainly far from a 
ceremonious correspondent. 

Our adventure on the H umber you should have learnt 
from K. Swann, who, with much minuteness, filled up 
three sides of a letter to his friend with the account. 
The matter was simply this : he, Almond, and myself, 
made an excursion about twelve or fourteen miles up the 
Humber ; on our return ran aground, were left by the 
tide on a sand- bank, and were obliged to remain six 
hours in an open boat, exposed to a heavy rain, high 
wind, and piercing cold, until the tide rose, when two 
men brought a boat to our assistance. We got home 
about twelve o'clock at night ; no evil consequences en- 
sued, owing to our using every exertion we could think 
of to keep warmth in our bodies. 

* * & * 



260 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

TO MR JOHN CHARLESWORTH. 

Nottingham, 27th June 1805. 
My dear Friend, 

It is some time since I wrote to you, and still longer 
since I heard from you ; but you are acquainted with my 
unceremonious disposition, and will, I hope, pardon me 
for obtruding an unbidden guest on } T our notice. I have 
a question to ask of you in the first place, and I shall then 
fill up my letter with all the familiarity of a man talking 
by your side, and saying anything, rather than be accused 
of saying nothing. My leisure will scarcely permit me 
to write to you again while I am here, and I shall there- 
fore make the best use of the present occasion. 
* * * * 

We have been fagging through Rollin's Ancient His- 
tory, and some other historical books, as I believe, to no 
great purpose. Hollin is a valuable and truly pious writer, 
but so crammed and garnished with reflections, that you 
lose the thread of the story, while the poor man is 
prosing about the morality of it ; when, too, after all, 
the moral is so obvious as not to need insisting upon. 
You may give my compliments to your good friends 
Galen, Hippocrates, and Paracelsus, and tell them I had 
much rather pay them my devoirs at a distance, than 
come into close contact with them or their cathartics. 
Medical Greek, and Medical Latin, would act as a su- 
dorific upon any man, who should hear their tremendous 
technicals pronounced with the true ore rotundo of a 
Scotch physician. 

And now, my dear Sir, we will cry a truce to flippancy 
— I have neither time nor inclination to indulge in it to 
excess. You and I have been some time asunder in the 
pursuit of our several studies ; you to the lively and 
busy seat of gaiety, fashion, and folly ; I to the retired 
haunts of a secluded village, and the studious walls of a 
silent and ancient parsonage. At first sight one would 
think that my lot had been most profitable, as un- 
doubtedly it is most secure ; but when we come to con- 



LETTERS. 261 



sider the present state of things in the capital, the bound- 
less opportunities of spiritual improvement which offer 
themselves, and the very superior society which every 
serious man may there join with, the tables seem turned 
in your favour. I hope and trust this is really the case, 
and that, with philosophical strength of mind, you have 
turned an unregarding ear to the voice of folly, and con- 
tinued fixed upon the serener and far more exquisite 
occupations of a religious life. I have been cultivating 
in retirement, by slow and imperceptible degrees, a closer 
communion with God ; but you have been led, as it 
were, in triumph by the energetic discourses of the many 
good men whom you have had the opportunity of hearing, 
to heights of religious satisfaction, which I can at present 
only sigh for at a distance. I appeal to you whether the 
grace of God is not the source of exquisite enjoyments ? 
What can be more delightful than that sweet and placid 
calm which it casts over one's mind ; or than the tender- 
ness it sheds abroad in our hearts, both with regard to 
God, and our poor fellow-labourers ? Even worldly- 
minded men confess that this life is, at best, but a scene 
of anxiety, and disappointment, and distress. How 
absurd, then, and inconsistent, must be their conduct, 
when, in spite of this so general and confirmed, an ex- 
perience, they neglect what can alone alleviate the 
sorrows of this life, and provide for the happiness of the 
next ? How much more is he to be envied who can ex- 
claim, with St Paul, "The world is crucified unto me, 
and I unto the world" "I have learned, in whatsoever 
state I am, thereivith to be content." " The world passeth 
away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of 
God abideth for ever." There is, in truth, an inde- 
scribable satisfaction in the service of God ; His grace 
imparts such composure in time of trouble, and such 
fortitude in the anticipation of it, at the same time that 
it increases our pleasures by making them innocent, that 
the Christian, viewed either as militant in this troublous 
scene, or as a traveller who is hastening by a diffi- 
cult, but short journey, to a better country, is a most 
enviable and happy character. The man who lives 



262 HENRY KIRKE WHITES REMAINS. 

without God in the world, on the other hand, has neither 
rest here, nor certainty or hope for the future. His 
reflections must, at all times, be dubious and dark, not 
to say distressing : and his most exquisite enjoyments 
must have a sting of fear and apprehension in them, 
which is felt when the gay hour is over, and its joys no 
more remembered. Many wicked and dissipated men 
sigh in secret for the state of the righteous, but they 
conceive there are insuperable obstacles in the way of 
religion, and that they must amend their lives before 
they can hope for acceptance, or even dare to seek accep- 
tance with God. But what a miserable delusion is this ! 
If this were truly the case, how awful would be the 
condition of the sinner ! for we know that our hearts are 
so depraved, and so obstinately addicted to sin, that they 
cannot forsake it without some more than mortal power 
to cut asunder the bonds of innate corruption, and loosen 
the affections from this sinful bondage. I was talking a 
few days ago with a young surgeon, who is just returned 
from the East Indies, and was expostulating with him on 
his dissolute habits : " Sir," said he, "I know you are 
happy, and I would give worlds to be able to subdue my 
passion ; but it is impossible, it never can be done. I 
have made resolution upon resolution, and the only effect 
has been, that I have plunged deeper into vice than 
ever." What could be a stronger illustration of the 
Scripture truth, that man's heart is naturally corrupt, 
and desperately wicked ? Since wickedness is misery, 
can we conceive that an all-good and benevolent God 
would have originally created man with such a disposi- 
tion ? It is sin which has made the world a vale of tears. 
It is the power of the cross of Jesus Christ alone that 
can redeem us from our natural depravity. Yes, my 
friend, " we know on whom we have believed ; and we 
are persuaded, that he is able to keep that which we have 
committed unto him against the great day." When I 
occasionally reflect on the history of the times when the 
great Redeemer appeared, behold God preparing his way 
before him, uniting all the civilized world in one lan- 
guage (Greek), for the speedier disseminating of the 



LETTERS. 2G3 



blessed gospel ; and then when I compare his precepts 
with those of the most famous of ancient sages, and 
meditate on his life, his manners, his sufferings, and 
cruel death, I am lost in wonder, love, and gratitude. 
Such a host of evidence attended him, as no power but 
that of the devil could withstand. His doctrines, com- 
pared with the morality of the then world, seem indeed 
to have dropt down from heaven. His meekness, his 
divine compassion, and pity for and forgiveness of his 
bitterest enemies, convinces me that he was indeed the 
Word, that he was what he professed to be, God, in his 
Son, reconciling the world to himself. These thoughts 
open my eyes to my own wretched ingratitude, and dis- 
regard of so merciful and compassionate a Master ; under 
such impressions, I could ardently long to be separated 
altogether from the affairs of this life, and live alone to 
my Redeemer. But, alas ! this does not last long — the 
pleasing outside of the delusive world entices my heart 
away ; beauty smiles me into a disgust of religion, and 
the fear of singularity frowns me into the concealment 
of it. How artfully does the arch-deceiver insinuate 
himself into our hearts ! He tells us that there is a deal 
of unnecessary moroseness in religion, a deal too many 
humiliating conditions in the gospel, and many ignorant 
absurdities in its professors ; while on the other hand, 
the polite world is so cheerful and pleasing, so full of 
harmless gaiety and refined elegance, that we cannot but 
love it. This is an insidious species of reasoning. Could 
we but see things in their true colours, were but the 
false varnish of\ the society of the gospel would seem 
an assembly of angels, that of the world a congregation 
of devils : but it is the best way not to reason with the 
tempter. I have a talisman, which at once puts to flight 
all his arguments ; it is the name of my Saviour, and 
against that the gates of hell shall not prevail. That is 
my anchor and my confidence : I can go with that to the 
bed of death, and lift up the eyes of the dying and despair- 
ing wretch to the great Intercessor ; I can go with this 
into the society of the cheerful, and come away with 
lightness of heart and entertainment of spirit. In every 



264 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

circumstance of life I can join with Job, who, above 
fourteen hundred years before Jesus Christ, exclaims, in 
the fervour of holy anticipation, " I know that my 
Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter 
day upon the earth ; and though after my skin worms 
destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." 

The power of the gospel was never more strongly 
illustrated than in the late mission to Greenland. These 
poor and unlettered tribes, who inhabit nearly the ex- 
tremest verge of animal existence, heard the discourses 
of the Danish missionaries on the being of a God with 
stupid unconcern, expressed their assent to everything 
that was proposed to them, and then hoped to extort 
some present for their complacency. For ten years did 
a very learned and pious man labour among them without 
the conversion of a single soul. He thought that he 
must prove to them the existence of a God, and the 
original stain of our natures, before he could preach the 
peculiar doctrines of the gospel, and he could never get 
over this first step ; for they either could not understand 
it, or would not, and when no presents were to be had, 
turned away in disgust. At length he saw his error, 
and the plan of operations was altered. Jesus Christ 
was preached in simplicity, without any preparation. 
The Greenlanders seemed thoughtful, amazed, and con- 
founded ; their eyes were opened to their depraved and 
lost state. The gospel was received everywhere with 
ardent attention. The flame spread like wild-fire over 
the icy wastes of Greenland ; numbers came from the re- 
motest recesses of the Northern Ocean to hear the word 
of life, and the greater part of the population of that 
extensive country has in time been baptized in the name 
of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. 

I have now filled my sheet. Pardon my prolixity, and 
believe me, my prayers are offered up frequently for your 
continuance of the path you have chosen. For myself, I 
need your prayers — may we be a mutual assistance to each 
other, and to all our fellow-labourers in the Lord Jesus. 
Believe me your sincere friend, 

H. K. White. 



LETTERS. 



2G3 



TO MR JOHN CHARLESWORTH. 



Dear Charlesworth, 



Nottingham, 6th July 1805. 



I beg you will admire the elegance of texture and 
shape of the sheet on which I have the honour to write 
to you, and beware, lest in drawing your conclusions, 
you conceive that I am turned exciseman ; for I assure 
you I write altogether in character ; — a poor Cambridge 
scholar, with a patrimony of a few old books, an ink-horn, 
and some sundry quires of paper, manufactured as the 
envelope of pounds of tea, but converted into repositories 
of learning and taste. 

The classics are certainly in disrepute. The ladies 
have no more reverence for Greek and Latin than they 
have for an old peruke, or the ruffles of Queen Anne. I 
verily believe that they would hear Homer's Greek with- 
out evidencing one mark of terror and awe, even though 
spouted by a University orator, or a Westminster stentor. 

tempora, mores ! the rural elegance of the twanging 
French horn, and the vile squeak of the Italian fiddle, 
are more preferred than all the energy and all the subli- 
mity of all the Greek and Roman orators, historians, 
poets, and philosophers, put together. Now, sir, as a 
classic, I cannot bear to have the honourable fame of the 
ancients thus despised and contemned, and therefore I 
have a controversy with all the beaux and belles. French- 
men and Italians. When they tell me that I walk hy 
rule and compass, that I balance my body with strict re- 
gard to the centre of gravity, and that I have more Greek 
in my pate than grace in my limbs, I can bear it all in 
sullen silence ; for you know it must be a libel, since I 
am no mathematician, and therefore cannot have learned 
to walk ill by system. As for grace, I do believe, since 

1 read Xenophon, I am become a very elegant man, and 
in due time shall be able to spout Pindar, dancing in 
due gradation the advancing, retrograde, and medium 



2G6 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

steps, according to the regular progress of the strophe, 
antistrophe, and epode. You and I will be very fashion- 
able men after the manner of the Greeks : we will insti- 
tute an orchestra for the exercise of the ars saltandi, 
and will recline at our meals on the legitimate Triclinium 
of the ancients — only banish all modern beaux and belles, 
to whom I am a professed and declared enemy. 
So much for flippancy — 

Vale ! S.R.V.B.E.E.Q.V. 

H. K. White. 



TO MR SERGEANT ROUGH. 

Brigg, near "Winteringham, July 1805. 
My dear Sir, 

I have just missed you at Lincoln, where I had some 
expectations of seeing you, and had not circumstances 
prevented, I had certainly waited there till to-morrow 
morning for that purpose. This letter, which I wrote at 
Brigg, I shall convey to you at Kirton, by some person 
going to the session ; many of whom, I have no doubt, 
are to be found in this litigious little town. 

Your misdirected epistle, to my great sorrow, never 
reached my hands. As I was very anxious to get it, I 
made many inquiries at the post-offices round ; but they 
were all in vain. I consider this as a real loss, and I 
hope you will regard me as still under the pressure of 
vexation, until I receive some substitute from your hands. 

Had I any certain expectation of hearing you address 
the Court, or Jury sworn, at Kirton, no circumstances 
should prevent me from being present ; so do I long to 
mark the dawnings of that eloquence which will one day 
ring through every court in the Midland Circuit. I 

think the noise of , the overbearing petulance of 

, and the decent assurance of , will readily 

yield to that pure, chaste, and manly eloquence, which, 
I have no doubt, you chiefly cultivate. It seems to me, 



LETTERS. 2G7 



who am certainly no very competent judge, that there is 
a uniform mode or art of pleading in our courts, which 
is in itself faulty, and is, moreover, a bar to the higher 
excellences. You know, before a barrister begins, in 
what manner he will treat the subject ; you anticipate 
his positiveness, his complete confidence in the stability 
of his case, his contempt of his opponent, his voluble 
exaggeration, and the vehemence of his indignation. All 
these are as of course. It is no matter what sort of a 

face the business assume : if Mr be all impetuosity, 

astonishment and indignation on one side, we know he 
would not have been a whit less impetuous, less aston- 
ished, or less indignant, on the other, had he happened to 
have been retained. It is true, this assurance of success, 
this contempt of an opponent, and dictatorial decision in 
speaking, are calculated to have effect on the minds of a 
jury ; and if it be the business of a counsel to obtain his 
ends by any means, he is right to adopt them ; but the 
misfortune is, that all these things are mechanical, and 
as much in the power of the opposite counsel as in your 
own; so that it is not so much who argues best, as who 
speaks last, loudest, or longest, True eloquence, on the 
other hand, is confident only where there is real ground 
for confidence, trusts more to reason and facts than to 
imposing declamation, and seeks rather to convince than 
dazzle. The obstreperous rant of a pleader may, for 
awhile, intimidate a jury ; but plain and manly argu- 
ment, delivered in a candid and ingenious manner, will 
more effectually work upon their understandings, and 
will make an impression on which the froth of declama- 
tion will be lost. I think a man w T ho would plead in 
this manner, would gain the confidence of a jury, and 
would find the avenues of their hearts much more open, 
than a man of more assurance, who, by too much confi- 
dence where there is much doubt, and too much vehe- 
mence where there is greater need of coolness, puts his 
hearers continually in mind that he is pleading for hire. 
There seems to me so much beauty in truth, that I could 
wishour barristers would make a distinction between 
cases, in their opinion well or ill founded, embarking their 



2C8 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

whole heart and soul in the one, and contenting them- 
selves with a perspicuous and forcible statement of their 
client's case in the other. 

Pardon my rambling. The cacoethes scribendi can 
only be used by indulgence, and we have all a propensity 
to talk about things we do not understand. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVrLLE. 

Winteringham, 20th Aug. 1805. 
Dear Neville, 

* * * * 

I am very sensible of all your affection, in your 
anxiety that I should not diminish my books ; but I am 
by no means relieved from the anxiety which, on more 
accounts than one, I am under as to my present situation, 
so great a burthen to the family, when I ought to be a 
support. My father made some heavy complaints when 
I was at home ; and though I am induced to believe that 
he is enough harassed to render it very excusable, yet I 
cannot but feel strongly the peculiarity of my situation, 
and, at my age, feel ashamed that I should add to his 
burthens. At present I have my hands completely tied 
behind me. When I get to College, I hope to have 
more opportunities of advantage, and, if I am fortunate, 
I shall probably relieve my father and mother from the 
weight which I now lay upon them. I wish you, if you 
read this letter to my mother, to omit this part. 

H? * * * 



TO CAPEL LOFFT, ESQ. 

Winteringham, 10th Sept. 1805. 
Dear Sir, 

Your letter has at length reached me at this place, 
where I have been for the last ten months employed in 
classical reading, with Mr Grainger. It gives me plea- 



LETTERS. 269 



sure to hear of you, and of poetry ; for, since I came 
here, I have not only been utterly shut out from all in- 
tercourse with the lettered world, but have totally laid 
aside the pen of inspiration. I have been actuated to 
this by a sense of duty ; for I wish to prove that I have 
not coveted the ministerial office through the desire of 
learned leisure, but with an ardent wish to do my duty 
as a teacher of the truth. I should blush to present my- 
self as a candidate for that office in an unqualified and 
unprepared state ; and as I have placed my idea of the 
necessary qualifications very high, all the time between 
now and my taking my degree will be little enough for 
these purposes alone. I often, however, cast a look of 
fond regret to the darling occupations of my younger 
hours, and the tears rush into my eyes as I fancy I see 
the few wild flowers of poetic genius with which I have 
been blessed withering with neglect. Poetry has been 
to me something more than amusement ; it has been a 
cheering companion when I have had no other to fly to, 
and a delightful solace when consolation has been in 
some measure needful. I cannot, therefore, discard so 
old and faithful a friend without deep regret, especially 
when I reflect that, stung by my ingratitude, he may de- 
sert me for ever ! 

* * * * 

With regard to your intended publication, you do me 
too much honour by inserting my puerilities along with 
such good company as I know I shall meet there. I wish 
I could present you with some sonnets worthy of your 
work. I have looked back amongst my old papers, and 
find a few verses under that name, which were written 
between the time when " Clifton Grove" was sent to the 
press and its final appearance. The looking over these 
papers has recalled a little of my old warmth, and I 
have scribbled some lines, which, as they owe their rise 
to your letter, I may fairly (if I have room) present to 
you. I cannot read the sonnets which I have found 
amongst my papers with pleasure, and therefore I shall 
not presume to show them to you. I shall anxiously ex- 
pect the publication of your work. 



270 HENRY KIRKE WHITES REMAINS. 

I shall be in Cambridge next month, being admitted 

a sizar at St John's. Trinity would have suited my 

plans better, but the expenses of that college are greater. 

With thanks for your kind remembrance of me, I 

remain, 

Dear Sir, 
Very respectfully and thankfully yours, 

H. K. White. 

Yes, my stray steps have wander'd, wander'd far 

From thee, and long, heart-soothing Poesy ! 

And many a flower, which in the passing time 

My heart hath register'd, nipp'd by the chill 

Of undeserv'd neglect, hath shrunk and died. 

Heart-soothing Poesy ! — Tho' thou hast ceas'd 

To hover o'er the many voiced strings 

Of my long silent lyre, yet thou canst still 

Call the warm tear from its thrice-hallow'd cell, 

And with recalled images of bliss 

Warm my reluctant heart. — Yes, I would throw, 

Once more would throw, a quick and hurried hand 

O'er the responding chords. — It hath not ceas'd — 

It cannot, will not cease ; the heavenly warmth 

Plays round my heart, and mantles o'er my cheek ; 

Still, tho' unbidden, plays. — Pair Poesy ! 

The summer and the spring, the wind and rain, 

Sunshine and storm, with various interchange, 

Have mark'd full many a day, and week, and month, 

Since by dark wood, or hamlet far retir'd, 

Spell-struck, with thee I loiter'd. — Sorceress ! 

I cannot burst thy bonds ! — It is but lift 

Thy blue eyes to that deep bespangled vault, 

Wreathe thy enchanted tresses round thine arm, 

And mutter some obscure and charmed rhyme, 

And I could follow thee, on thy night's work, 

Up to the regions of thrice-chastened fire, 

Or in the caverns of the ocean flood, 

Thricl the light mazes of thy volant foot. 

Yet other duties call me, and mine ear 

Must turn away from the high minstrelsy 



LETTERS. 



27i 



Of thy soul- trancing harp, unwillingly 

Must turn away ; — there are severer strains 

(And surely they are sweet as ever smote 

The ear of spirit, from this mortal coil 

Releas'd and disembodied) , there are strains 

Forbid to all, save those whom solemn thought, 

Thro' the probation of revolving years, 

And mighty converse with the spirit of truth, 

Have purged and purified. — To these my soul 

Aspireth ; and to this sublimer end 

I gird myself, and climb the toilsome steep 

With patient expectation. — Yea, sometimes 

Foretaste of bliss rewards me ; and sometimes 

Spirits unseen upon my footsteps wait, 

And minister strange music, which doth seem 

Now near, now distant, now on high, now low, 

Then swelling from all sides, with bliss complete, 

And full fruition filling all the soul. 

Surely such ministry, tho' rare, may soothe 

The steep ascent, and cheat the lassitude 

Of toil ; and but that my fond heart 

Reverts to day-dreams of the summer gone, 

When by clear fountain, or embowered brake, 

I lay a listless muser, prizing far 

Above all other lore, the poet's theme ; 

But for such recollections I could brace 

My stubborn spirit for the arduous path 

Of science unregretting ; eye afar 

Philosophy upon her steepest height, 

And with bold step, and resolute attempt, 

Pursue her to the innermost recess, 

Where thron'd in light she sits, the Queen of Truth. 

These verses form nearly the only poetical effort of 
this year. Pardon their imperfections. 



r 



272 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

St John's, 18th Oct. 1805. 
My dear Ben, 

I am at length finally settled in my rooms, and, ac- 
cording to my promise, I write to you to tell you so. I 
did not feel quite comfortable at first here ; but I now 
begin to feel at home, and relish my silent and thought- 
ful cup of tea more than ever. Amongst our various 
occupations, that of attending chapel is to me not the 
least irksome, for the service is read in general below 
the span of my auditory nerve ; but when they chant, 
T am quite charmed, for our organ is fine, and the voices 
are good. This is, however, only on high days and 
festivals, in which number the present day is to be 
reckoned (St Luke's). 

My mathematical studies do not agree with me, and you 
may satisfy yourself I shall never be a senior wrangler. 
Many men come up with knowledge enough for the 
highest honours, and how can a man be expected to keep 
up with them who starts without any previous fund ? 
Our lectures begin on Monday, and then I shall know 
more of college difficulties. 

My rooms are in the top story of the farthest court of 
St John's (which you perhaps remember) near the clois- 
ters. They are light, and tolerably pleasant ; though, 
as there was no furniture in them, and I have not yet 
bought many necessary articles, they look very bare. 
Your phiz over the chimney-piece has been recognised 
by two of my fellow- students : the one recollected its 
likeness to Mr Maddock of Magdalene ; and the other 
said it was like a young man whom he had seen with Mr 
Maddock, and whom he supposed to be his brother. 
Of my new acquaintances, I have become intimate 

with a Mr , who, I hope, will be senior wrangler. 

He is a very serious and friendly man, and a man of no 
common mathematical talents. He lives in the same 
court with me. Besides him. 1 know of none whose 



LETTERS. 



273 



friendship I should value ; and. including him, no one 
whose hand I would take in preference to ray old friend ; 
so long as I see my old friend with his old face. When 
you have learned to be other than what you are, I shall 
not regret that B. M. is no longer my friend, but that 
my former friend is no more. 

* * * * 

I walked through, Magdalene the other day, and I 
could not help anticipating the time when I should come 
to drink your tea, and swallow your bread and butter, 
within the sacred walls. You must know our College 
was originally a convent for Black Friars ; and if a man 
of the reign of Henry the Sixth, were to peep out of his 
grave, in an adjoining churchyard, and look into our 
portals, judging by our dress and appearance, he might 
deem us a convent of Black Friars still. Some of our 
brethren, it is true, would seem of very unsightly bulk ; 
but many of them, with eyes sunk into their heads, from 
poring over the mathematics, might pass very well for 
the fasting and mortified shadows of penitent monks. 

With regard to the expenses of our College, I can now 
speak decisively ; and I can tell you, that I shall be here 
an independent man. I am a senior sizar, under very 
favourable circumstances, and I believe, the profits of 
my situation will nearly equal the actual expenses of the 
College. But this is no rule for other Colleges. I am 
on the test side (there are two divisions) of St John's, 
and the expenses here are less than anywhere else in 
the University. 

I have this week written some very elaborate verses 
for a college prize, and I have at length learned that I 
am not qualified for a competitor, not being a Lady 
Margaret's scholar : so that I have lost my labour, Cora- 
pared with the other men of this large College, I find I 
am a respectable classic, and if I had time to give to 
the languages. I think I should ultimately succeed in 
them in no small degree ; but the fates forbid ; mathe- 
matics I must read, and in mathematics I know I never 
shall excel. These are harassing reflections for a poor 
young man gaping for a fellowship ! 



274 iie;n t ry rikke white s kemains. 

If I choose, I could find a good deal of religious so- 
ciety here, but I must not indulge myself with it too 
much. Mr Simeon's preaching strikes me much. 
* * * 

I beg you will answer a thousand such questions as 
these without my asking them. 

This is a letter of intelligence : — Next shall be sen- 
timent (or Gothic arch, for they are synonymous accord- 
ing to Mr M.) 



TO HIS MOTHER, 

St John's, 28th October 1805. 
Dear Mother, 

» & * 

You seem to repose so little confidence in what I say 
with regard to my College expenses, that I am not en- 
couraged to hope you will give me much credit for what 
I am about to say ; namely, that had I no money at all, 
either from my friends or Mr Simeon, I could manage 
to live here. My situation is so very favourable, and 
the necessary expenses so very few, that I shall want 
very little more than will suffice for clothes and books, 

I have got the bills of Mr , a sizar of this College, 

now before me, and from them, and his own account, I 
will give you a statement of what my College bills will 
amount to. 

* & * * 

Thus my College expenses will not be more than twelve 

or fifteen pounds a-year at the most. I shall not have 

any occasion for the whole sum I have a claim upon Mr 

Simeon for, and if things go well, I shall be able to live 

without being dependent on any one. The Mr , 

whose bills 1 have borrowed, has been at College three 

years. He came over from with ten pounds in his 

pocket, and has no friends or any income or emolument 
whatever except what he receives for his sizarship : yet 
he does support himself, and that, too, very genteelly. 



LETTERS. 275 



It is only men's extravagance that makes College life so 
expensive. There are sizars at St John's who spend 
£150 a-year ; but they are gay, dissipated men, who 
choose to be sizars in order that they may have more 
money to lavish on their pleasures. Our dinners and 
suppers cost us nothing ; and if a man choose to eat milk 
breakfasts, and go without tea, he may live absolutely 
for nothing ; for his College emoluments will cover the 
rest of his expenses. Tea is indeed almost superfluous, 
since we do not rise from dinner till half-past three, and 
the supper bell rings a quarter before nine. Our mode 
of living is not to be complained of, for the table is 
covered with all possible variety ; and on feast days, 
which our fellows take care are pretty frequent, we have 
wine. 

You will now, I trust, feci satisfied on this subject, 
and will no longer give yourself unnecessary uneasiness 
on my account. 

& & 3? « 

I was unfortunate enough to be put into unfurnished 
rooms, so that my furniture will cost me a little more 
than I expected ; I suppose about fifteen pounds, or per- 
haps not quite so much. I sleep on a hair mattress, 
which I find just as comfortable as a bed ; it only cost 
me four pounds along with blankets, counterpane, and 
pillows, &c. I have three rooms — a sitting-room, a 
bed-room, and a kind of scullery or pantry. My sitting- 
room is very light and pleasant, and, what does not often 
happen, the walls are in good case, having been lately 
stained green, 

I must commission my sister to make me a pair of 
letter-racks, but they must not be fine, because my fur- 
niture is not very fine. I think the old shape (or octa- 
gons one upon another) is the neatest, and white the 
best colour. I wish Maria would paint vignettes in the 
squares, because then I should see how her drawing pro- 
ceeds. You must know that these are not intended as 
mere matters of show, but are intended to answer some 
purpose ; there are so many particular places to attend 
on particular days, that unless a man is very cautious, 



276 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

he has nothing else to do than to pay forfeits for non- 
attendance. A few cards and a little rack will be a 
short way of helping the memory. 

I think I must get a supply of sugar from London ; 
for if I buy it here it will cost me Is. 6d. per pound, 
which is rather too much, I have got tea enough to 
last the term out. 

%■ * * * 

Although you may be quite easy on the subject of my 
future support, yet you must not form splendid ideas of 
my success at the University, for the lecturers all speak 
so low, and we sit at such a distance, that I cannot hear 
a syllable. I have, therefore, no more advantage than 
if I were studying at home. 

I beg we may have no more doubts and fears, at least 
on my score. I think I am now very near being off 
your hands ; and, since my education at the University 
is quite secure, you need not entertain gloomy appre- 
hensions for the future : my maintenance will, at all 
events, be decent and respectable ; and you must not 
grieve yourself because I cannot be as rich as an alder- 
man. 

* *- * v * 

Do not show this letter to all comers, nor leave it 
about, for people will have a very mean idea of Univer- 
sity education when they find it costs so little ; but if 
they are saucy on the subject, tell them — I have a Lord 
just under me. 

# -x * « 



TO THE REV. JOHN DASHWOOD. 

St John's, 26th Oct. 1805. 
Dear Sib, 

It is now many months since I wrote to you, and I 
have not received any answer. I should not have 
troubled you with this letter, but that, considering how 
much I owe to you, I thought the rules and observances 



LETTERS. 277 

of strict etiquette might with moral propriety be dis- 
pensed with. 

Suffer me therefore to tell you, that I am quietly and 
comfortably settled at St John's ; silently conforming 
myself to the habits of College life, and pursuing my 
studies with such moderation as I think necessary for my 
health. I feel very much at home, and tolerably happy ; 
although the peculiar advantages of University educa- 
tion will in a great measure be lost to me, since there is 
not one of the lecturers whom I am able to hear. 

My literary ambition is, I think, now fast subsiding, 
and a better emulation springing up in its room. I con- 
ceive that, considering the disadvantages under which I 
labour, very little can be expected from me in the Senate 
House. I shall not, however, remit my exertions, but 
shall at least strive to acquit myself with credit, though 
I cannot hope for the more splendid honours. 

With regard to my College expenses, I have the plea- 
sure to inform you, that my situation is so favourable 
that I shall be obliged, in strict rectitude, to waive the 
offers of many of my friends. I shall not even need 
the sum Mr Simeon mentioned after the first year : and 
it is not impossible that I may be able to live without 
any assistance at all. I confess I feel pleasure in the 
thought of this, not through any vain pride of indepen- 
dence, but because T shall then give a more unbiassed 
testimony to the truth, than if I were supposed to be 
bound to it by any ties of obligation or gratitude. I 
shall always feel as much indebted for intended as for 
actually afforded assistance ; and though I should never 
think a sense of thankfulness an oppressive burthen, yet 
I shall be happy to evince it, when, in the eyes of the 
ivorld, the obligation to it has been discharged. 
% * * * 

I hope you will ere long relieve me from the painful 
thought that I lie under your displeasure ; and believe me, 
Dear Sir, 
Most sincerely and affectionately yours, 

H. K. White. 



278 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



TO MR CHARLESWORTH. 

& # # # 

Cum diutius a te frustra litteras expectassem meniet 
in animum tuum revocare aut iterum otio obtrudere 
nolebara. 

Penes te erat aut nobiscum denuo per litteras colloqui 
aut familiaritatem et necessitatem nostram silentio dimit- 
tere. Hoe te prsetulisse jam diu putaveram, cum epistola 
tua mihi in manus venit. 

* * * * 

Has litteras scribebam intra sanctos Sanctissimi Johan- 
nis Collegii muros, in celeberrima hac nostra academia 
Cantabrigas. 

Hie tranquillitate denique litterarum propria, summa 
cum voluptate conjuncta fruor. Hie omnes discendi vias, 
omnes scientias rationes indago et persequor ; nescio quid 
tandem evasurus, Certe si parum proficio, nrihi culpaa 
jure datum erit ; modo valetudo me sinat. 

Haud tamen vereor, si verum dicere cogor, ut satis 
proficiam : quanquam infirmis auribus aliorum leeturas 
vix unquam audire queam. In Mathematicis parum adhuc 
profeci : utpote qui perarduum certamen cum eruditissi- 
mis quibusque in yeterum Unguis et moribus versatis 
jam jam sim initurus. 

His in studiis pro mea perbrevi sane et tanquam hes- 
terna consuetudine haud mediocriter sum versatus. 

Latine minus eleganter scribere videor quam Graeee : 
neque vero eadem voluptate scriptores Latinos lectito 
quam Graecos ; cum autem omnem industrae meaa vim 
Komanis litteris contulerim haud dubito quin facilis 
mihi et propitias eas faciam. 

Te etiam revocatum velim ad haec elegantia delicias- 
que litterarum. Quid enim accommodatius videri potest 
aut ad animum quotidianis curis laboribusque oppressum 
reficiendum et recreandum aut ad mentem et facultates in- 
genii acuendas quam exquisita et expolita summaque vi 
et acuraine ingenii elaborata veterum scriptorum opera ? 
* * * * 



LETTERS. 279 



TO HIS BROTHER JAMES. 

St John's, November 1805. 
My dear James, 

You do not know how anxious I am to hear how you 
go on in ail things ; and whether you still persist in 
steadfastness and seriousness. I know, my dear lad, 
that your heart is too good to run into actual vice, yet I 
fear the example of gay and wicked persons may lead 
you to think lightly of religion, and then who knows 
where it may end ? Neville, however, will always be 
your director, and I trust you conceal none, even of your 
very thoughts, from him. Continue, James, to solicit 
the fatherly superintendence of your Maker night and 
morning. I shall not fear for you while I am assured 
you do this fervently, and not in a hurried or slovenly 
manner. With constant prayer, we have nothing to fear 
from the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the 
devil : God will bring us through it, and will save us in 
the midst of peril. If we consider the common condition 
of man's life, and the evils and misfortune to which we 
are daily exposed, we have need to bless God every mo- 
ment for sparing us, and to beg of him that when the day 
of misfortune comes (and come it must, sooner or later, 
to all), we may be prepared with Christian fortitude to 
endure the shock. What a treasure does the religious 
man possess in this, that when everything else fails, he 
has God for his refuge ; and can look to a world where 
he is sure, through Christ Jesus, that he will not be dis- 
appointed ! 

I do not much heed to what place of worship you may 
go, so as you are but a serious and regular attendant. 
Permit me, however, to explain the true nature of the 
question with regard to the church liturgy, in order that 
you may be the better able to judge. 

You know, from the Epistles of St Paul, that soon 
after the death of Jesus Christ, there were regular 
churches established in various places, as at Corinth, 



280 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

Galatia, Thessalonica, &c, &c. Now, we are not cer- 
tain that they used forms of prayers at all in these 
churches, much more that any part of ours was used in 
their time ; but it is certain, that in the year of our 
Lord 286, there was a general liturgy in use through- 
out all the churches of Christ. Now, if in that early 
time, when Christians were much more like the apostles 
than they are now, they used a form of prayer in the 
churches, it is fair to conclude that the practice was not 
unscriptural : besides, at this very time, St John the 
Evangelist had not been dead above 100 years, and one 
of his disciples, though at a very great age, was actually 
living. St Chrysostom, who lived above 354 years after 
Christ, wrote some of our prayers, and the greater part 
of them have been in general use for a thousand years. 
About the year 286, about one thousand live hundred 
years ago, immense multitudes of savages, the Goths 
and Vandals, being enticed by the fertility of the Italian 
country, and the riches of its possessors, came down from 
Germany, Hungary, and all the northern parts of Europe, 
upon the Roman Empire, then enfeebled with luxury, 
and endeavoured to gain possession of the south. They 
were at first repulsed ; but as fast as they were de- 
feated or slain, new hordes, allured by the accounts 
which their countrymen gave of its opulence and abun- 
dance, succeeded in their stead ; till the forces of the 
Romans grew unequal to the contest, and gradually gave 
way to the invaders, who, wherever they came, reduced 
everything to a state of barbarism. The Christians 
about this time were beginning to prevail in the Roman 
territories, and under the Emperor Constantine, who 
was the first Christian king, were giving the blow to 
idolatry. But the savage intolerance of the invaders, 
who reduced the conquered to abject slavery, burnt 
books wherever they found them, and even forbade the 
cultivation of learning, reduced them to the utmost dis- 
tress. At this time they wrote and used in their 
churches all that part of the litany which begins with 
the Lord's Prayer, and ends with the Prayer of St 
Chrysostom. Thus you see how venerably ancient are 



281 



many of our forms, and how little they merit that con- 
tempt which ignorant people pour upon them. Yery 
holy men (men now, we have every reason to believe, in 
heaven) composed them, and they have been used from 
age to age ever since, in our churches, with but few 
alterations. But you will say they were used by the 
Roman Catholics, who are a very superstitious and bi- 
goted set of people. This is no objection at all, because 
the Roman Catholics were not always so bad ; and what 
is a proof of this is, that there once was no other reli- 
gion in the world, and we cannot think that church 
very wicked, which God chose, once, to make the sole 
guardian of his truth. There have been many excellent 
and pious men among the Roman Catholics, even at the 
time their public faith was corrupted. 

You may have heard of the Reformation : you know 
it was brought about by Luther and Calvin, in the six- 
teenth century, about 1536. Now Calvin is the founder 
of the sect of Independents, such as those who meet at 
Castlegate, yet he had a hand in framing the liturgy 
which, with alterations, we now use, and he selected it 
in part from the liturgy of the Roman Church ; because 
they had received it from the primitive Christians, who 
were more immediately taught by the apostles. The 
reformation means that change in religion which was 
brought about, as said before, by Luther and Calvin, in 
consequence of the abuses and errors which had crept 
into the Romish Church. 

You may possibly think the responses, or answers of 
the clerk and people, rather ridiculous. This absurdity, 
however, generally consists more in the manner than in 
the thing. They were intended to be pronounced aloud 
by the people, and were used as a means to keep their 
attention awake, and show their sincerity. At the time 
this form was invented, not one man in five or six hun- 
dred could read ; and these repetitions answered another 
purpose, of fixing important ejaculations and sentences 
in their minds. In these days the same necessity does 
not exist ; but we still retain the form on account of 
its other advantages, and through reverence of such an 



282 HENRY KI1JKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

antiquity, as almost vouches for its being acceptable to 
God, who has permitted it to be used by the wisest and 
best of men for so long a period. 

I think I have now nearly tired you. Pray write to 
me soon, and believe me, 

My dear James, 

Your very affectionate brother, 

H. K. White. 



TO MR B. MADDOCK. 

St John's College, Cambridge, 10th Nov. 1805. 
My dear Ben, 

* * * * 

The reasons why I said mathematical studies did not 
agree with me, were these — that I am more inclined to 
classical pursuits, and that, considering what disadvan- 
tages I lie under in being deaf, I am afraid I cannot 
excel in them. I have at present entirely laid them 
aside, as I am reading for the University scholarship, 
which will soon be vacant : there are expected to be 
thirteen or fourteen candidates, some of whom are of 
great note from Eton ; and I have as much expectation 
of gaining it, as of being elected supreme magus over 
the mysteries of Mithra. The scholarship is of no value 
in itself adequate to the labour of reading for it, but it 
is the greatest classical honour in the University, and is 
a pretty sure road to a fellowship. My classical abilities 
here have attracted some attention, and my Latin 
Themes, in particular, have drawn forth inquiries from 
the tutors as to the place of my education. The reason 
why I have determined to sit for the scholarship is this, 
that to have simply been a candidate for it establishes a 
man's character, as many of the first classics in the Uni- 
versity have failed of it. 

* * * * 

I begin now to feel at home in my little room, and I 
wish you were here to see how snugly I sit by my blaz- 



I 

LETTERS. 283 

ing fire in the cold evenings. College certainly has 
charms, though I have a few things rankling at my heart 
which will not let me be quite happy. Ora, Ora, pro me, 

This last sentence of mine is of a curious tendency, 
to be sure ; for who is there of mortals who has not 
something rankling at his heart, which will not let him 
be happy. 

It is curious to observe the different estimations two 
men make of one another's happiness. Each of them 
surveys the external appearance of the other's situation, 
and comparing them with the secret disquieting circum- 
stances of his own, thinks him happier ; and so it is that 
all the world over, be we favoured as we may, there is 
always something which others have, and which we our- 
selves have not, necessary to the completion of our feli- 
city. I think, therefore, upon the whole, there is no 
such thing as positive happiness in this world ; and a 
man can only be deemed felicitous, as he is in compari- 
son less affected with positive evil. It is our business, 
therefore, to support ourselves under existing ills, with 
the anticipation of future blessings. Life, with all its 
bitters, is a draught soon drunk ; and though we have 
many changes to fear on this side the grave, beyond it 
we know of none. 

Your life and mine are now marked out ; and our 
calling is of such a nature, that it ill becomes us to be 
too much affected with circumstances of an external 
nature. It is our duty to bear our evils with dignified 
silence. Considering our superior consolations, they are 
small in comparison with those of others ; and though 
they may cast a sadness both over our hearts and coun- 
tenances, which time may not easily remove, yet they 
must not interfere with our active duties, nor affect our 
conduct towards others, except by opening our heart 
with warmer sympathy to their woes, their wants, and 
miseries. 

As you have begun in your religious path, my beloved 
friend, persevere. Let your love to the Crucified con- 
tinue as pure as it was at first, while your zeal is more 
tempered, and your piety more rational and mature. I 



284 HENRY KIRKB WHITES REMAINS. 

hope yet to live to see you a pious and respected parish 
priest : as for me — I hope I shall do my duty as I have 
strength and ability, and I hope I shall always continue, 
what 1 now profess myself, 

Your friend and brother, 

H. K. White. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

St John's, Cambridge, 10th Dec. 1805. 
Dear Neville, 

I am so truly hurt that you should again complain of 
my long silence, that I cannot refrain from sending this 
by the post, although 1 shall send you a parcel to-morrow. 
The reason of my not having sent you the cravats sooner, 
is the difficulty I have found in getting them together, 
since part were in the hands of my laundress, and part 
dirty. I do not know whether you will find them right, 
as my linen is in other respects deficient, and I have a 
cause at issue with my washerwoman on that score. 
This place is, literally, a den of thieves ; my bed-maker, 
whom we call a gyp, from a Greek w r ord signifying a 
vulture, runs away with everything he can lay his hands 
on, and when he is caught, says he only borrows them. 
He stole a sack of coals a-week, as regularly as the week 
came, when first I had fires ; but I hare stopped the 
run of this business, by a monstrous large padlock, 
which is hung to the staple of the bin. His next trick 
was to bring me four candles for a pound instead of six ; 
and this trade he carried on for some time, until I acci- 
dentally discovered the trick : he then said he had 
always brought me right until that time, and that then 
he had brought me Jives, but had given Mr H. (a man 
on the same staircase) one, because he thought he under- 
stood I had borrowed one of him : on inquiring of Mr 
H., he had not given him one according to his pretence ; 
but the gentleman was not caught yet, for he declared 
he had lent one to the bed-maker of Lord B. in the 



LETTERS. 2C5 

rooms below. His neatest trick is going to the grocer 
every now and then for articles in your name, which 
he converts to his own use. I have stopped him here 
too, by keeping a check- book. Tea, sugar, and pocket- 
handkerchiefs are his natural perquisites, and I verily 
believe he will soon be filling his canister out of mine 
before my face. There is no redress for all this ; for 
if you change, you are no better off; they are all alike. 
They know you regard them as a pack of thieves, and 
their only concern is to steal so dexterously that they 
may not be confronted with direct proof. 

Do not be surprised at any apparent negligence in my 
letters ; my time has so many calls for it, that half my 
duties are neglected. Our College examination comes 
on next Tuesday, and it is of the utmost moment that I 
acquit myself well there. A month after will follow the 
scholarship examination. My time therefore, at present, 
will scarcely permit the performance of my promise with 
respect to the historical papers, but I have them in mind, 
and I am much, bent on perfecting them in a manner 
superior to their commencement. 

I would fain write to my brother James, who must by 
no means think I forget him ; but I fear I shall see hini 
before I write to him, on the accounts above stated. The 
examination for the scholarship is distinct from that of 
our College^ which, is a very important one ; and while I 
am preparing for the one, I necessarily neglect the other, 

I wish very much to hear from you on religions topics ; 
and remember, that although my leisure at present will 
not allow me to write to you all I wish, yet it will be the 
highest gratification to me to read your letters, especially 
when they relate to your Christian progress. I beseech 
you not to relax, as you value your peace of mind, and 
the repo?e of a dying bed. I wish you would take in 
the Christian Observer, which is a cheap work, and will 
yield you mucTi profitable amusement. I have it here 
for nothing, and can send you up some of the numbers, 
if you like. 

Remember, and let my mother know, that I have no 



286 HENRY KTRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

chance for the University scholarship, and that I only sit 
for the purpose of letting the University know that I am 
a decent proficient in the languages. 

There is one just vacant, which I can certainly get, 
but I should be obliged to go to Peter- house in conse- 
quence, which will not be advisable ; but I must make 
inquiries about it. I speak with certainty on this sub- 
ject, because it is restricted to candidates who are in 
their first year, amongst whom I should probably be 
equal to any. The others are open to bachelors. 
% % # * 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE, 

St John's, 16th December 1805. 
Dear Neville, 

In consequence of an alteration in my plans, I shall 
have the pleasure of seeing you at the latter end of this 
week, and I wish you so to inform my aunt. The reason 
of this change is this, that I have over-read myself, and 
I find it absolutely necessary to take some relaxation, 
and to give up study entirely for a short time, in order 
that I may go on better hereafter. 

This has been occasioned by our College lectures, 
which I had driven too late, on account of my being oc- 
cupied in preparations for the University scholarship 
examination, and then I was obliged to fag so hard for 
the College lectures, as the time drew on, that I could 
take no exercise. Thus I soon knocked myself up, and 
I now labour under a great general relaxation, and much 
nervous weakness. 

Change of air and place will speedily remove these 
symptoms, and I shall certainly give up the University 
scholarship, rather than injure my health. 

Do not mention these things to my mother, as she will 
make it a cause of unnecessary uneasiness. 



LETTERS. 287 



•TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

St John's, 19th December 1805. 
Dear Neville, 

I was sorry to receive your letter, desiring me to 
defer my journey ; and I am sorry to be forced to tell 
you the reason of my coming to town sooner than you 
wish me. I have had an attack of my old nervous com- 
plaint, and my spirits have been so wretchedly shattered, 
that my surgeon says I shall never be well till I have 
removed somewhere, where I can have society and amuse- 
ment. It is a very distressing thing to be ill in college, 
where you have no attendance, and very little society. 
Mr Catton, my tutor, has prevailed upon me, by pressing 
wishes, to go into the hall to be examined with the men 
of my year. I have gone through two examinations, 
and I have one to come ; after that is over, he told me 
I had better goto my friends directly, and relieve myself 
with complete relaxation from study. Under these cir- 
cumstances, the object of my journey to London will be 
answered, by the mere residence in my aunt's family, 
and by a cessation from reading. While I am here, I 
am wretched ; I cannot read, the slightest application 
makes me faint ; I have very little society, and that is 
quite a force upon my friends. I am determined, there- 
fore, to leave this place on Saturday morning, and you 
may rest satisfied that the purpose of my journey will 
be fully accomplished by the prattle of my aunt's little 
ones, and her care. I am not an invalid, since I have 
no sickness or ailment, but I am weak and low-spirited, 
and unable to read. The last is the greatest calamity I 
can experience of a worldly nature. My mind preys 
upon itself. Had it not been for Lee son, of Clare Hall, 
I could not have gone through this week. I have been 
examined twice, and almost without looking over the 
subjects, and I have given satisfaction, but I am obliged 
to be kept up by strong medicines to endure this exer- 
tion, which is very great. 



288 HEKRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

I am happy, however, to tell you I am better ; and 
Mr Farish, the surgeon, says, a few days will re-establish 
me when I get into another scene, and into society. 
* * * ' * 



TO HIS MOTHER. 

London, 2-lth December 1805. 
My dear Mother, 

You will, no doubt, have been surprised at not having 
heard from me for so long a time, and you will be no 
less so to find that I am writing this at my aunt's, in 
this far-famed city. I have been so much taken up with 
our College examinations of late, that I could not find 
time to write even to you, and I am now come to town, 
in order to give myself every relaxation and amusement 
I can ; for I had read so much at Cambridge, that my 
health was rather affected, and I was advised to give 
myself the respite of a week or a fortnight, in order to 
recover strength. I arrived in town on Saturday night, 
and should have written yesterday, in order to remove 
any uneasiness you might feel on my account, but there 
is no post on Sunday. 

I have now to communicate some agreeable intelligence 
to you. Last week being the close of the Michaelmas 
term, and our College examination, our tutor, w T ho is a 
very great man, sent for me, and told me he was sorry 
to hear I had been ill : he understood I was low-spirited, 
and wished to know whether I frightened myself about 
College expenses. I told him, that they did contribute 
some little to harass me, because I was as yet uncertain 
what the bills of my first year would amount to. His 
answer was to this purpose : " Mr White, I beg you will 
not trouble yourself on this subject : your emoluments 
will be very great, very great indeed, and I will take 
care your expenses are not very burthen some — leave that 
to me !" He advised me to go to my friends, and amuse 
myself with a total cessation from reading. After our 



LETTERS. 289 



College examination (which lasted six clays) was over, 
he sent for me again, and repeated what he had said 
before about the expenses of the College ; and he added, 
that if I went on as I had begun, and made myself a 
good scholar. I might rely on being provided for by the 
College ; for if the county should be full, and they could 
not elect me a fellow, they would recommend me to 
another College, where they would be very glad to re- 
ceive a clever man from their hands ; or, at all events, 
they could always get a young man a situation as a 
private tutor in a nobleman's family ; or could put him 
into some handsome way of preferment, " We make it 
a rule (he said) of providing for a clever man, whose 
fortune is small : and you may therefore rest assured, 
Mr White, that after you have taken your degree, you 
will be provided with a genteel competency hy the Col- 
lege" He begged I would be under no apprehensions 
on these accounts : he shook hands with me very affec- 
tionately, and wished me a speedy recovery. These 
attentions from a man like the tutor of St John's are 
very marked ; and Mr Catton is well known for doing 
more than he says. I am sure, after these assurances 
from a principal of so respectable a society as St John's, 
I have nothing more to fear ; and I hope you will never 
repine on my account again — according to every appear- 
ance, my lot in life is certain. 



TO MR B. HADDOCK. 

London, Xmas 1805. 
My dear Ben, 

You would have had no reason to complain of my long 
silence, had I preferred my self-justification to }^our ease. 
I wrote you a letter, which now lies in my drawer at St 
John's, but in such a weak state of body, and in so de- 
sponding and comfortless a tone of mind, that I knew it 
would give you pain, and therefore I chose not to send 



290 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

it. I have indeed been ill ; but, thanks to God, I am 
recovered. My nerves were miserably shattered by over- 
application and the absence of all that could amuse, and 
the presence of many things which weighed heavy upon 
my spirits. When I found myself too ill to read, and 
too desponding to endure my own reflections, I dis- 
covered that it is really a miserable thing to be destitute 
of the soothing and supporting hand when nature most 
needs it. I wandered up and down from one man's room 
to another, and from one College to another ; imploring 
society, a little conversation, and a little relief of the 
burthen which pressed upon my spirits ; and I am sorry 
to say, that those who, when I was cheerful and lively, 
sought my society with avidity, now, when I actually 
needed conversation, were too busy to grant it. Our 
College examination was then approaching, and I per- 
ceived with anguish that I had read for the University 
scholarship until I had barely time to get up our private 
subjects, and that as I was now too ill to read, all hope 
of getting through the examination with decent respec- 
tability was at an end. This was an additional grief. 
I went to our tutor, with tears in my eyes, and told him 
I must absent myself from the examination ; a step 
which w T ould have precluded me from a station amongst 
the prizemen until the second year. He earnestly en- 
treated me to run the risk. My surgeon gave me strong 
stimulants and supporting medicines during the examina- 
tion week, and I passed, I believe, one of the most re- 
spectable examinations amongst them. As soon as ever 
it was over, I left Cambridge by the advice of my 
surgeon and tutor, and I feel myself now pretty strong. 
I have given up the thought of sitting for the University 
scholarship in consequence of my illness, as the course of 
my reading was effectually broken. In this place I have 
been much amused, and have been received with an at- 
tention in the literary circles which I neither expected 
nor deserved. But this does not affect me as it once 
w r ould have done : my views are widely altered, and I 
hope that I shall in time learn to lay my whole heart at 
the foot of the cross. 



LETTEKS. 291 



I have only one thing more to tell you of about my 
illness ; it is, that I have found in a young man, with 
whom I had little acquaintance, that kind care and at- 
tention which I looked for in vain from those who pro- 
fessed themselves my nearest friends. At a time when 

could not find leisure to devote a single evening to 

his sick friend, even when he earnestly implored it, 
William Leeson constantly, and even against my wishes, 
devoted every evening to the relieving of my melancholy, 
and the enlivening of my solitary hours. With the most 
constant and affectionate assiduity he gave me my medi- 
cines, administered consolation to my broken spirits, and 
even put me to bed. 

m * -» * 



TO MR P. THOMPSON. 

London, 1st January 1806. 
Sir, 

I owe it both to my feelings and my duty, that I should 
thank you for the kind inquiries you have thought it 
worth while to make concerning me and my affairs. I 
have just learned the purport of a letter received from 
you by Mr Robinson, the bookseller ; and it is a pleasing 
task to me, at the same time that I express my sense of 
your benevolent concern in my behalf, to give you, my- 
self, the information you require. 

The little volume which, considered as the production 
of a very young man, may have interested you, has not 
had a very great sale, although it may have had as much 
countenance as it deserved. The last report I received 
from the publishers was 450 sold. So far it has an- 
swered the expectations I had formed from it, that it 
has procured me the acquaintance, and perhaps I may 
say the friendship, of men equally estimable for their 
talents and their virtues. Rewarded by their counte- 
nance, I am by no means dissatisfied with my little book ; 
indeed, I think its merits have, on the whole, rather been 
over-rated than otherwise, which I attribute to the lenity 



292 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

so readily afforded to the faults of youth, and to the 
promptitude with which benevolent minds give encou- 
ragement where encouragement seems to be wanted. 

With regard to my personal concerns, I have suc- 
ceeded in placing myself at Cambridge, and have al- 
ready kept one term. My College is St John's, where, 
in the rank of sizar, I shall probably be enabled to live 
almost independently of external support ; but should I 
need that support, I have it in my power to draw on a 
friend, whose name I am not permitted to mention, for 
any sum not exceeding £30 per annum. With habits 
of frugality, I shall never need this sum; so that I am 
quite at ease with respect to my College expenses, and 
am at full leisure to pursue my studies with a free and 
vacant mind. 

I am at present in the great city, where I have come, 
in consequence of a little injudicious application, a suitor 
to health, variety, and amusement. In a few days I 
shall return to Cambridge, where (should you ever pass 
that way) 1 hope you will not forget that I reside there 
three- fourths of the year. It would, indeed, give me 
pleasure to say personally how much I am obliged by 
your inquiries. 

I hope you will put a favourable construction both on 
the minuteness and the length of this letter ; and per- 
mit me to subscribe myself, 

Sir, very thankfully and obediently, yours, 

H. K. White. 



TO HIS AUNT. 

St John's, Cambridge, 6th Jan. 1806. 
My dear Aunt, 

I am once more settled in my room at Cambridge ; 
but 1 am grown so idle and so luxurious since I have 
been under your hands that I cannot read with half my 
usual diligence. 



j 



LETTEKS. 293 

I hope you concluded the Christmas holidays on Mon- 
day with the customary glee, and I hope my uncle was 
well enough to partake of your merriment. You must 
now begin your penitential days after so much riot and 
feasting ; and with your three little prattlers around 
you, I am sure your evenings will flow pleasantly by 
your own fire-side. Visiting and gaiety are very well 
by way of change, but there is no enjoyment so lasting 
as that of one's own family. Elizabeth will soon be old 
enough to amuse you with her conversation, and I trust 
you will take every opportunity of teaching her to put 
the right value on things, and to exercise her own good 
sense. It is amazing how soon a child may become a 
real comfort to its mother, and how much even young 
minds will form habits of affection towards those who 
treat them like reasonable beings, capable of seeing the 
right and the wrong of themselves. A very little girl 
may be made to understand that there are some things 
which are pleasant and amusing, which are still less 
worthy of attention than others more disagreeable and 
painful. Children are, in general, fond of little orna- 
ments of dress, especially females ; and though we may 
allow them to be elevated w T ith their trifling splendours, 
yet we should not forget to remind them that, although 
people may admire their dress, yet they will admire them 
much more for their good sense, sweetness of temper, and 
generosity of disposition. Children are very quicksighted 
to discern whether you approve of them, and they are 
very proud of your approbation when they think you be- 
stow it : we should, therefore, be careful how we praise 
them and for what. If we praise their dress, it should 
be slightly, and as if it were a matter of very small im- 
portance ; but we should never let any mark of con- 
sideration, or goodness of heart, in a child, pass by without 
some token of approbation. Still we must never praise 
a child too much, nor too warmly, for that would beget 
vanity ; and when praise is moderately yet judiciously 
bestowed, a child values it more, because it feels that it 
is just. I don't like punishments. You will never tor- 
ture a child into duty ; but a sensible child will dread 



294 HENRY KIRKE WHITES REMAINS. 

the frown of a judicious mother, more than all the rods, 
dark rooms, and scolding schoolmistresses in the universe. 
We should teach our children to make friends of us, to 
communicate all their thoughts to us ; and, while their in- 
nocent prattle will amuse us, we shall find many oppor- 
tunities of teaching them important truths, almost with 
out knowing it. 

I admire all your little ones, and I hope to see Eliza- 
beth one day an accomplished and sensible girl. Give 
my love to them, and tell them not to forget their cousin 
Henry, who wants a housekeeper at College ! 

Though I have written so long a letter, I am, indeed, 
offended with you, and I dare say you know the reason 
very well. 

* * * * 

P.S. Whenever you are disposed to write a letter, 
think of me. 



TO MR B. MADDOCIC 

St John's, 17th February 1806. 
Dear Ben, 

# * * * 

Do not think that I am reading hard ; I believe it 
is all over with that. I have had a recurrence of my 
old complaint within this last four or five days, which 
has half unnerved me for everything. The state of my 
health is really miserable ; I am well and lively in the 
morning, and overwhelmed with nervous horrors in the 
evening. I do not know now to proceed with regard to 
my studies — a very slight overstretch of the mind in the 
day-time occasions me not only a sleepless night, but a 
night of gloom and horror. The systole and diastole of 
my heart seem to be playing at ball, — the stake — my 
life. I can only say the game is not yet decided. I 
allude to the violence of the palpitation. 

I am going to mount the Gog-magog hills this morn- 
ing in quest of a good night's sleep. The Gog-magog 



LETTERS. 295 



hills for my body, and the Bible for my mind, are my 

only medicines. I am sorry to say that neither are 

quite adequate. Cai, igztur, dandum est vitio ? Mihi 

prorsus. I hope, as the summer comes, my spirits 

(which have been with the swallows a winter's journey) 

will come with it. When my spirits are restored, my 

health will be restored — the fons mail lies there. Give 

me serenity and equability of mind, and all will be well 

there. 

& * & $ 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

St John's, 11th March 180(5. 
Dear Neville, 

I hope you read Mason on Self-knowledge now and 
then. It is a useful hook ; and it will help you greatly 
in framing your spirit to the ways of humility, piety, and 
peace. Heading, occasional meditation, and constant 
prayer, will infallibly guide you to happiness, as far as 
we can be happy here ; and will help you on your way 
to that blessed abode, where I hope, ardently hope, we 
shall all meet hereafter in the assembly of the saints. 
Go coolly and deliberately, but determinately, to the work 
of your salvation. Do nothing here in a hurry ; deli- 
berate upon everything ; take your steps cautiously, yet 
with a simple reliance on the mercy of your God and 
Saviour ; and wherever you see your duty lie, lose no 
time in acting up to it. This is the only way to arrive 
at comfort in your Christian career ; and the constant 
observance of this maxim will, with the assistance of God, 
smooth } T our way with quietness and repose, even to the 
brink of eternity, and beyond the gulf that bounds it. 

I had almost dropped the idea of seeing Nottingham 
this next long vacation, as my stay in Cambridge may be 
importantly useful ; but I think now I shall go down 
for my health's, and more particularly for my mother's 
sake, whom my presence will comfort, and perhaps help. 
I should be glad to moor all my family in the harbour 



20G HENRY KIIiKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

of religious trust, and in the calm seas of religious peace. 
These concerns are apt at times to escape me ; but they 
now press much upon my heart, and I think it is my 
first duty to see that my family are safe in the most im- 
portant of all affairs. 

# * * * 



TO THE REV. J. PLUMBTRE. 

St John's, 12th March 1806. 
Dear Sir, 

I hope you will excuse the long delay which I have 
made in sending the song. I am afraid I have trespassed 
on your patience, if indeed so unimportant a subject can 
have given you any thought at all. If you think it worth 
while to send the song to your publisher, I should prefer 
the omission of the writer's name, as the insertion of it 
would only be a piece of idle ostentation, and answer no 
end. My name will neither give credit to the verses, 
nor the verses confer honour on my name. 

It will give me great pleasure to hear that your la- 
bours have been successful in the town of , where. I 

fear, much is to be done. I am one of those who think 
that the love of virtue is not sufficient to make a virtuous 
man ; for the love of virtue is a mere mental preference 
of the beautiful to the deformed ; and we see but too 
often that immediate gratification outweighs the dictates 
of our judgment. If men could always perform their 
duty as well as they can discern it, or if they could attend 
to their real interests as well as they can see them, there 
would be little occasion for moral instruction. Sir 
Hichard Steele, who wrote like a saint, and who, in his 
" Christian Hero/' shows the strongest mark of a re- 
ligious and devout heart, lived, notwithstanding all this, 
a drunkard and a debauchee. And what can be the 
cause of this apparent contradiction ? Was it that he 
had not strength of mind to act up to his views? Then 
a man's salvation may depend on the strength of intel- 
lect ! Or does not this rather show that superior mo- 



LETTERS. 297 



tives are wanting? That assistance is jet necessary, 
when the ablest of men has done his utmost ? If then 
such aid be necessary, how can it be obtained ? — by a 
virtuous life ? — Surely not : because, to live really a 
virtuous life, implies this aid to have been first given. 
We are told in Scripture, how it may be attained, 
namely, by humble trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, as 
our atoning sacrifice. This, therefore, is the foundation 
of religious life, and as such, ought to be the fundamen- 
tal principle of religious instruction. This is the test 
of our obedience, the indispensable preliminary before 
we can enjoy the favour of God. What, therefore, can 
we urge with more propriety from the pulpit than 
Faith ? To preach morality does not include the princi- 
ple of faith — to preach faith includes every branch of 
morality, at the same time that it affords it its present 
sanctions, and its strongest incitements. 

I am afraid I have trespassed on your patience, and I 
must beg of you to excuse the badness of the writing, 
for which I have the plea of illness. I hope your health 
is yet firm, and that God will in mercy prosper your 
endeavours for the good of your flock. 
I am, dear Sir, 

Very respectfully yours, 

H. K. White. 



Dear Mother, 



TO HIS MOTHER. 

St John's, Cambridge, April 1806. 



I am quite unhappy to see you so anxious on my ac- 
count, and also that you should think me neglectful of 
you. Believe me, my clear mother, my thoughts are 
often with you. Never do I lay myself on my bed, be- 
fore you have all passed before me in my prayers ; and 
one of my first earthly wishes is to make you comfort- 
able, and provide that rest and quiet for your mind which 



298 HENRY K1RKE WHITES REMAIN'S. 

you so much need : and never fear but I shall have it in 
my power some time or other. My prospects wear a 
flattering appearance. I shall be almost sure of a fellow- 
ship somewhere or other, and then, if I get a curacy in 
Cambridge, I shall have a clear income of £170 per 
annum, besides my board and lodging, perhaps more. 
If I do not reside in Cambridge, I shall have some quiet 
parsonage, where you may come and spend the summer 
months, Maria and Kate will then be older, and you 
will be less missed. On all accounts you have much 
reason to indulge happier dreams. My health is con- 
siderably better. Only do you take as much care of 
yours as I do of mine, and all will be well. I exhort, 
and intreat, and beseech you, as you love me, and all 
your children, that you will take your bitters without 
ceasing. As you wish me to pay regard io your exhor- 
tations, attend to this. 

$ * * % 



TO HIS MOTHER. 

St John's, April 1806. 
Dear Mother, 

I am a good deal surprised at not having heard from 
you in answer to my last. You will be surprised to hear 
the purport of my present letter ; w T hich is no less than 
that I shall spend the ensuing Easter vacation in Not- 
tingham. The reasons which have induced me to make 
this so wide an alteration in my plan, are these : I have 
had some symptoms of the return of my old complaint, 
and both my doctor and tutor think I had better take a 
fortnight's relaxation at home. I hope you will not 
think I have neglected exercise, since I have taken more 
this term than I ever did before ; but I shall enlarge my 
hours of recreation still more, since I find it necessary, 
for my health's sake, so to do. 

You need not give yourself any uneasiness as to my 
health, for I am quite recovered. I was chiefly afflicted 



LETTERS. 2.99 



with sleeplessness and palpitations of the heart, which 
symptoms have now disappeared, and I am quite restored 
to my former good health. My journey will re-establish 
me completely, and it will give me no small pleasure to 
see you after so long an absence from home. I shall be 
very idle while I am at Nottingham ; I shall only amuse 
myself with teaching Maria and Kate. 



(supposed to be addressed) 
TO MRS WEST. 

I have stolen your -first volume of Letters from the 
chimneypiece of a College friend, and I have been so 
much pleased both with the spirit, conduct, and style of 
the work, that I cannot refrain from writing to tell you 
so. I shall read the remaining volumes immediately ; 
but as I am at this moment just in that desultory mood 
when a man can best write a letter, I have determined 
not to delay what, if I defer at all, I shall probably not 
do at all. 

Well, then, my dear Madam, although I have insi- 
diously given you to understand that I write to tell you 
how much I approve your work, I will be frank enough 
to tell you likewise, that I think, in one point, it is faulty ; 
and that, if I had not discovered what I consider to be 
a defect in the book, I should probably not have written 
for the mere purpose of declaiming on its excellences. 

Start not, Madam ; it is in that very point whereon 
you have bestowed most pains, that I think the work is 
faulty — Religion. If I mistake not, there will be some 
little confusion of idea detected, if we examine this part 
narrowly ; and as I am not quite idle enough to write 
my opinions without giving the reasons for them, I will 
endeavour to explain why I think so. 

Religion, then, Madam, I conceive to be the service a 
creature owes to his Creator ; and I take it for granted, 
that service implies some self-denial, and some labour; 



300 HENRY KIRKE WHITES REMAINS. 



for if it did not involve something unpleasing to our- 
selves, it would be a duty we should all of necessity per- 
form. Well, then, if religion call for self-denial, there 
must be some motive to induce men voluntarily to un- 
dergo such privations as may be consequent on a religious 
life, and those motives must be such as affect either the 
present state of existence, or some other future state of 
existence. Certainly, then, those motives which arise 
from the expectation of a future state of existence, must, 
in reality, be infinitely more important than those which 
are founded in temporal concerns, although, to mankind, 
the immediate presence of temporal things may outweigh 
the distant apprehension of the future. Granting, there- 
fore, that the future world is the main object of our re- 
ligious exercises, it will follow, that they are the most 
important concerns of a man's life, and that every other 
consideration is light and trifling in the comparison. 
For the world to come is everlasting, while the present 
world is but very short. Foolish, then, indeed, and 
shortsighted must that creature be, which can prefer 
the conveniences and accommodations of the present, to 
the happiness of the eternal future. 

All Christians, therefore, who undertake to lay down 
a chart for the young and inexperienced, by which they 
may steer with security through the ocean of life, will 
be expected to make religion a prominent feature on the 
canvas ; and that too, not only by giving it a larger 
space, but by enforcing the superiority of this considera- 
tion to every other. Now this is what I humbly con- 
ceive you have not altogether done ; and I think, in- 
deed, if I be competent to judge, you have failed in two 
points ; — in making religion only a subordinate con- 
sideration to a young man, and in not defining distinctly 
the essentials of religion. 

I would ask you, then, in what way } T ou so impress 
religion on the mind of your son, as one would expect 
that person would impress it, who was conscious that it was 
of the first importance. Do you instruct him to turn oc- 
casionally, when his leisure may permit, to pious and de- 
vout meditation ? Do you direct him to make religion 



LETTERS. 301 



the one great aim and end of his being ? Do you exhort 
him to frequent private and earnest prayer to the Spirit 
of Holiness, that he would sanctify all his doings ? Do 
you teach him that the praise, or the censure, the ad- 
miration, or the contempt, of the world, is of little im- 
portance, so as his heart be right before the Great Judge ? 
Do you tell him that, as his reason now opens, he should 
gradually withdraw from the gayer and occasionally 
more unlicensed diversions of the world — the ball-room, 
the theatre, and the public concert, in order that he may 
abstract his mind more from the too-fascinating delights 
of ]ife, and fit himself for the new scene of existence, 
which will, sooner or later, open upon his view ? No, 
Madam, I think you do not do this. You tell him there 
is a deal of enthusiasm in persons who, though they mean 
well, are over-strict in their religious performances. 
You tell him, that assemblies, dances, theatres, are ele- 
gant amusements, though you couple the fine arts with 
them, which I am sorry to see in such company. I, too, 
am enthusiastically attached to the fine arts. Poetry, 
painting, and music, are amongst my most delicious and 
chastest pleasures ; and happy, indeed, do I feel, when 
I can make even these contribute to the great end, and 
draw my soul from its sphere, to fix it on its Maker and 
Redeemer. I am fond, too, of tragedy ; and though I 
do not find it with so much purity and chastity in Shake* 
spear as in the old Greek dramatists, yet I know how 
to appreciate its beauties in him too. Besides these, I 
have a thousand other amusements of the most refined 
nature, without either theatres, balls, or card-tables. 
The theatre is not in itself an immoral institution, but 
in its present state it is ; and I feel much for an uncor- 
rupted, frank lad of fourteen, who is permitted to visit 
this stew of licentiousness, impudence, and vice. Your 
plan seems to me this : — Teach a boy to lead an honest, 
upright life, and to do his duty, and he will gain the 
good-will of God by the very tenour of his actions. This 
is, indeed, an easy kind of religion, for it involves no 
self-denial; but true religion does involve self-denial. 
The inference is obvious. I say it involves no self- 



r 



302 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

denial ; because a well-educated, sensible lad will see 
so many inconveniences in vicious indulgences, that he 
will choose the virtuous by a natural effort of the under- 
standing ; and so, according to this system, he will en- 
sure heaven by the soundness of his policy, and the rec- 
titude of his understanding. 

Admitting this to be a true doctrine, Christianity has 
been of no material service to mankind ; and the Son of 
God might have spared his blood : for the heathens knew 
all this, and not only knew it, but many of them put it 
into practice. What then has Christianity done ? But 
the Scripture teaches us the reverse of this : it teaches 
us to give God our whole heart, to live to him, to pray 
continually, and to fix our affections not on things tem- 
poral, but on things eternal. Now, I ask you, whether, 
without any sophistry, or any perversion of the meaning 
of words, you can reconcile this with your religious in- 
struction to your son ? 

I think, likewise, that you do not define the essentials 
of religion distinctly. We are either saved by the atone- 
ment of Jesus Christ, or we are not ; and if we are, then 
all men are necessarily saved ; or some are necessarily 
not saved ; and if some are not saved, it must be from 
causes either existing in the individuals themselves, or 
from causes existing in the economy of God's dispen- 
sations. Now, Madam, we are told that Jesus Christ 
died for all ; but we grant that all are not saved. Why 
then are some not saved ? It is because they do not act 
in a manner worthy of God's favour ! Then a man's 
salvation depends upon his actions. But Ave are told 
in Scripture, that it does not depend on his actions — 
" By faith are ye saved, without the works of the law :" 
therefore it either must depend on some other effort 
of the creature, or on the will of the Creator. I will not 
dispute the question of Calvinism with you : I will 
grant that Calvanism is indefensible ; but this all must 
concede who believe the Scriptures — that we are to 
be saved by faith only througli Jesus Christ. I ask 
therefore, whether you have taught this to your son : 
and I ask whether there is one trait in your instructions, 



LETTERS. 303 

in common with the humbling, self-denying religion 
taught by the Apostles, by the homilies of our Church, 
and by all the reformers ? The chief argument of the 
latter against the Romish Church, was their asserting 
the validity of works. Now, what ideas must your son 
have of Christian faith ? You say, that even Shakes- 
pears debauchees were believers ; and he is given to un- 
derstand that he is a good Christian, if he do his duty 
to his master and fellows, go to church every Sunday, 
and keep clear of enthusiasm. And what has Jesus 
Christ to do with your system ? and where is the faith 
banished of which every page of Scripture is full ? 
Can this be right ? '' Closet devotion" is the means of 
attaining faith ; and humble prayer is the true means 
of arriving at fervency in religion, without enthusiasm. 
You condemn Socinianism ; but I ask you where Jesus 
Christ appears in your scheme, and why the influences of 
the Holy Ghost, and even his names, are banished from it? 



TO MR P. THOMPSON. 

Nottingham, 8th April 1806. 
Dear Sir, 

I sincerely beg your pardon for my ungrateful dis- 
regard of your polite letter. The intervening period 
has been so much taken up, on the one hand, by ill 
health, and on the other, by occupations of the most in- 
dispensable kind, that I have neglected almost all my 
friends, and you amongst the rest. I am now at Not- 
tingham, a truant from study, and a rejected votary at 
the shrine of Health ; a few days will bring me back to 
the margin of the Cam, and bury me once more in the 
busy routine of college exercises. Before, however, I 
am again a man of bustle and occupation, I snatch a few 
moments to tell you how much I shall be gratified by 
your correspondence, and how greatly I think myself 
flattered by your esteeming mine worth asking for. 

The little sketch of your past occupations, and present 



304 HENJIY KIEKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

pursuits, interested me. Cultivate, with all assiduity, 
the taste for letters which you possess. It will be a 
source of exquisite gratification to you ; and if directed 
as it ought to be, and I hope as it will be directed, it 
will be more than gratification (if we understand pleasure 
alone by that word), since it will combine with it utility 
of the highest kind. If polite letters were merely in- 
strumental in cheering the hours of elegant leisure, in 
affording refined and polished pleasures, uncontaminatec 
with gross and sensual gratifications, they would still be 
valuable ; but in a degree infinitely less than when they 
are considered as the handmaids of the virtues, the cor- 
rectors as well as the adorners of society. But literature 
has of late years been prostituted to all the purposes of 
the bagnio. Poetry, in particular, arrayed in her most 
bewitching colours, has been taught to exercise the arts 
of the Leno, and to charm only that she may destroy. 
The muse, who once dipped her hardy wing in the chastest 
dews of Castalia, and spoke nothing but what had a ten- 
dency to confirm and invigorate the manly ardour of a 
virtuous mind, now breathes only the voluptuous languish- 
ings of the harlot, and, like the brood of Circe, touches 
her charmed chords with a grace that, while it ravishes 
the ear, deludes and beguiles the sense. I call to wit- 
ness Mr Moore, and the tribe of imitators which his suc- 
cess has called forth, that my statement is true. Lord 
Strangford has trodden faithfully in the steps of his 
pattern. 

* * * * 

I hope, for the credit of poetry, that the good sense of 
the age will scout this insidious school ; and what may 
we not expect, if Moore and Lord Strangford apply 
themselves to a chaster muse ? They are both men of 
uncommon powers. You may remember the reign of 
Darwinian poetry, and the fopperies of Delia Crusca. 
To these succeeded the school of simplicity, in which 
Vv'ordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge, are so deservedly 
eminent. I think that the new tribe of poets endeavour 
to combine these two opposits sects, and to unite rich- 
ness of language, and warmth of colouring, with sim- 



LETTERS. 305 



plicity and pathos. They have certainly succeeded ; 
but Moore unhappily wished to be a Catullus, and from 
him has sprung the licentiousness of the new school. 
Moore's poems and his translations will, I think, have 
more influence on the female society of this kingdom, 
than the stage has had in its ivorst period, the reign of 
Charles II. Ladies are not ashamed of having the 
delectable Mr Little on their toilette, which is a pretty 
good proof that his voluptuousness is considered as quite 
veiled by the sentimental garb in which it is clad. But 
voluptuousness is not the less dangerous for having some 
slight semblance of the veil of modesty. On the con- 
trary, her fascinations are infinitely more powerful in 
this retiring habit, than when she boldly protrudes her- 
self on the gazer's eye, and openly solicits his attention. 
The broad indecency of Wycherley, and his contem- 
poraries, was not half so dangerous as this insinuating 
and half covered mock- delicacy, which makes use of the 
blush of modesty in order to heighten the charms of 
vice. 

I must conclude somewhat abruptly, by begging you 
will not punish my negligence towards you, by retarding 
the pleasure I shall receive from your answer. 
I am very truly yours, 

H. K. White. 
Address to me, St John's College, Cambridge. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

St John's, May 1806. 
My dear Neville, 

* * * * 

My long delayed and very anciently promised letter 
to Charlesworth will reach, him shortly. Tell him that 
I have written one to him in Latin, but that having torn 
the paper in two by mistake, I could not summon resolu- 
tion to copy it. 

I was glad to hear of the eclat with which he disputed, 



308 HEXRY KTRKE WHITES REMAINS. 

and came off on so difficult a subject as the Nerves ; and 
I beg of him, if he have made any discoveries, to com- 
municate them to me, who, being persecuted by these 
fame nerves, should be glad to have some better ac- 
quaintance with my invisible enemies. 



My dear Sister, 



TO HIS SISTER. 

St John's, 25th June 1806. 



The intelligence you gave me of Mr Forest's ill- 
ness, &c, cannot affect me in any way whatever. The 
mastership of the school must be held by a clergyman ; 
and I very well recollect that he is restrained from hold- 
ing any curacy, or other ministerial office. The salary 
is not so large as you mention ; and if it were, the place 
would scarcely be an object to me ; for I am very cer- 
tain, that if I choose, when I have taken my degree, I 
may have half a dozen pupils to prepare for the Uni- 
versity, with a salary of £100 per annum, which would 
be more respectable, and more consonant to my habits 
and studies, than drilling the fry of a trading town, in 
learning which they do not know how to value. Latin 
and Greek are nothing like so much respected in Not- 
tingham as Wingate's Arithmetic. 

* * *' * 

It is well for you that you can still enjoy the privilege 
of sitting under the sound of the gospel ; and the wants 
of others, in these respects, will, perhaps, teach you how 
to value the blessings. All our comforts, and almost all 
our hopes, here lie at the mercy of every succeeding 
hour. Death is always at hand to bereave us of some 
dear connexion, or to snatch us away from those who 
may need our counsel and protection. I do not see how 
any person, capable of reflection, can live easily and 
fearlessly in these circumstances, unless he have a well- 



LETTERS. 307 



grounded confidence in the providing care of the Al- 
mighty, and a strong belief that his hand is in every 
event, and that it is a hand of mercy. The chances and 
changes of mortal life are so many and various, that a 
person cannot possibly fortify himself against the con- 
tingencies of futurity without some such hold as this, on 
which to repose amidst the contending gales of doubt 
and apprehension. This I say as affecting the present 
life : — our views of the future can never be secure, they 
can never be comfortable or calm without a solid faith 
in the Redeemer. Men may reason about the Divine 
benevolence, the certainty of a future state, and the pro- 
bable means of propitiating the Great Judge; but their 
speculations will only entangle them in the mazes of 
doubt, perplexity, and alarm, unless they found their 
hopes on that basis which shall outstand the tide of 
ages. If we take this away, the poor bark of mortality 
loses its only stay, and we steer at random, we know not 
how, we know not whither : the religion of Jesus Christ 
is strength to the weak, and wisdom to the unwise. It 
requires no preparatives of learning or study, but is, if 
possible, more obvious and easy to the illiterate than to 
the erudite. No man, therefore, has any excuse if he 
neglect it. The way is plain before him, and he is in- 
vited to enter. He has only to kneel at the foot of the 
cross, and cry, with the poor publican, " Lord, have 
mercy upon me, a miserable sinner. ?? If he do this, and 
examine his own heart, and mortify the body of sin 
within him, as far as he is able, humbly and earnestly 
imploring the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, we cannot 
doubt but he will meet with the approbation and assist- 
ance of the Almighty. In this path we must all tread. 
In this path I hope that you, my dear sister, are now 
proceeding. You have children ; to whom can you 
commit them, should Providence call you hence, with 
more confidence than the meek and benevolent Jesus ? 
What legacy can you leave them more certainly profit- 
able than the prayers of a pious mother ? And, if 
taught by your example, as well as by your instructions, 
they should become themselves patterns of a holy and 



308 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

religious life, how sweetly will the evening of your days 
shine upon }'our head, as you behold them treading in 
those ways which you know, by experience, to be ways 
of pleasantness and peace ! I need not press this subject. 
I know you feel all that I say, and more than I can ex- 
press. I only fear that the bustle of family cares, as 
well as many anxieties of mind on other accounts, should 
too much divert yon from these important objects. Let 
me only remind you, that the prayers of the afflicted 
are particularly acceptable to God. The sigh of the 
penitent is not too light to reach his ear. The eye of 
God is fixed as intently upon your soul, at all times, as 
it is upon the revolution of the heavenly bodies, and the 
regulation of systems. God surveys all things, and he 
contemplates them with perfect attention ; and, con- 
sequently, he is as intently conversant about the smallest 
as about the greatest things. For if he were not as 
perfectly intent on the soul of an individual being, as he 
is about the general concerns of the universe, then he 
would do one thing less perfectly than another : which 
is impossible in God. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

St John's, 30th June 1806. 
Dear Neville, 

T received your letter yesterday ; and I hope you will 
not think my past silence at all in need of apology, when 
you know that our examination only closed on Saturday. 

I have the satisfaction of informing you that, after a 
week's scrutiny, I was deemed to be the first man. I 
had very little hopes of arriving at so distinguishing a 
station, on account of my many checks and interruptions. 
It gave me great pleasure to observe how all the men 
rejoiced in my success. It was on Monday that the 
classes were published. I am a prize-man both in the 
mathematical and logical, or general examination, and 
in Latin composition. 



LETTEES. 3Q9 



Mr Catton has expressed his great satisfaction at my 
progress ; and he has offered to supply me with a private 
tutor for the four months of the vacation, free of any 
expense. This will cost the College twelve or fifteen 
guineas at least. My last term bill amounts only to 
£4, 5s. 3d. after my exhibitions are deducted. 

I had engaged to take charge of a few classical pupils 
for a clergyman in Warwickshire, during one month of 
the vacation, for which I was to receive, besides my 
board, &c. &c, ten guineas ; but Mr Catton says this is I 
a piece of extreme folly, as it will consume time, and do 
me no good. He told me, therefore, positively, that he 
would not give me an exeat, without which no man can 
leave his College for a night. 

I cannot, therefore, at all events, visit Nottingham with 
my aunt, nor meet her there. 

I could now, if I choose, leave St John's College, and 
go to another, with great eclat ; but it would be an un- 
advisable step. I believe, however, it will be impossible 
for them to elect me fellow at St John's, as my county 
is under particular restrictions. They can give me a 
fellowship of smaller value, but I had rather get one at 
another College : at all events, the smaller Colleges will 
be glad to elect me from St John's. 

& * & * 

With regard to cash, I manage pretty well, though 
my fund is at present at its lowest ebb. My bills, how- 
ever, are paid ; and I have no occasion for money, ex- 
cept as a private convenience. The question therefore 
is, whether it will be more inconvenient to you than 
convenient to me, for you to replenish my purse. De- 
cide impartially. I have not drawn upon my mother 
since Christmas, except for the expense of my journey 
up from Nottingham to Cambridge ; nor do I mean to 
do it till next Christmas, when, as I have ordered a suit 
of clothes, I shall have a good many calls for money. 
Let me have a long letter from you soon. 
* * % m 



310 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



TO HIS MOTHER. 

St John's, 9th July 1805. 
My dear Mother, 

1 have scarcely time to write you a long letter ; but 
the pleasing nature of my intelligence will, I hope, make 
up for its shortness. 

After a week's examination, I am decided to be the 
best man of my year at St John's; an honour I had 
scarcely hoped for, since my reading has been so very- 
broken and interrupted. The contest was very stiff, and 
the men all acquitted themselves very well. We had 
thirteen men in the first class, though there are seldom 
more than six or eight who attain that rank in common. 

I have learned also, that I am a prize-man in classical 
composition, though I do not yet know whereabouts I 
stand. It is reported that here, too, I am first. 

Before it was known that I was the first man, Mr 
Catton, our College tutor, told me that he was so satisfied 
with the manner in which I had passed through the ex- 
amination, that if I chose to stay up during the summer, 
I should have a private tutor in the mathematics, and 
that it should be no expense to me. I could not hesitate 
at such a proposal, especially as he did not limit the 
time for my keeping the private tutor, but will probably 
continue it as long as I like. You may estimate the 
value of this favour, when I tell you that a private tutor, 
for the whole vacation, will cost the College at least 
twelve or fourteen guineas, and that during term time 
thej r receive ten guineas the term. 

I cannot of course lea ye the College this summer, 
even for a week, and shall therefore miss the pleasure of 

seeing my Aunt G at Nottingham. I have written 

to her. 

It gave me much pleasure to observe the joy all the 
men seemed to feel at my success. I had been on a 
water excursion with a clergyman in the neighbourhood, 
and some ladies, and just got home as the men were 



LETTERS. 



311 



assembling for supper ; you can hardly conceive with 
what pleasure they all flocked round me, with the most 
hearty congratulations, and I found that many of them 
had been seeking me all over the College, in order to be 
the first to communicate the good tidings. 

* # # * 



TO MR B. HADDOCK 

St John's, July 1806. 
My dear Friend, 

I have good and very bad news to communicate to you. 
Good, that Mr Catton has given me an exhibition, which 
makes me up a clear income of £63 per annum, and 
that I am consequently more than independent ; bad, 
that I have been very ill, notwithstanding regular and 
steady exercise. Last Saturday morning I rose early, 
and got up some rather abstruse problems in mechanics 
for my tutor, spent an hour with him, between eight and 
nine got my breakfast, and read the Greek History [at 
breakfast) till ten, then sat down to decipher some loga- 
rithm tables. I think I had not done anything at them, 
when I lost myself At a quarter past eleven my laun- 
dress found me bleeding in four different places in my 
face and head, and insensible. I got up, and staggered 
about the room, and she, being frightened, ran away, 
and told my gyp to fetch a surgeon. Before he came, I 
w T as sallying out with my flannel gown on, and my 
academical gown over it : he made me put on my coat, 
and then I went to Mr Farish's : he opened a vein, and 
my recollection returned. My own idea was, that I had 
fallen out of bed, and so I told Mr Farish at first ; but 
I afterwards remembered that I had been to Mr Fiske, 
and breakfasted. 

Mr Catton has insisted on my consulting Sir Isaac Pen- 
nington, and the consequence is, that I am to go through 
a course of blistering, &c, which, after the bleeding, will 
leave me weak enough. 



312 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

I am, however, very well, except as regards the doc- 
tors ; and yesterday I drove into the country to Saffron 
Walden in a gig. My tongue is in a bad condition, 
from a bite which I gave it, either in my fall, or in the 
moments of convulsion. My nose has also come badly 
off. I believe I fell against my reading-desk. My other 
wounds are only rubs and scratches on the carpet. 

I am ordered to remit my studies for a while, by the 
common advice both of doctors and tutors. Dr Pen- 
nington hopes to prevent any recurrence of the fit. He 
thinks it looks towards epilepsy, of the horrors of which, 
malady I have a very full and precise idea ; and I only 
pray that God will spare me as respects my faculties, 
however else it may seem good to him to afflict me. 
Were I my own master, I know how I should act ; but 
I am tied here by bands which I cannot burst. I know 
that change of place is needful ; but I must not indulge 
in the idea. The College must not pay my tutor for \ 
nothing. Dr Pennington and Mr Farish attribute the 
attack to a too continued tension of the faculties. As 
I am much alone now, I never get quite off study, and 
I think incessantly. I know nature will not endure 

this. They both proposed my going home, but Mr 

did not hint at it, although much concerned ; and, in- : 
deed, I know home would be a bad place for me in my 
present situation. I look round for a resting-place, 
and I find none. Yet there is one, which I have long 
too, too much, disregarded, and thither I must now be- 
take myself. There are many situations worse than 
mine, and I have no business to complain. If these 
afflictions should draw the bonds tighter which hold me 
to my Redeemer, it will be well. 

You may be assured that you have here a plain state- 
ment of my case, in its true colours, without any pallia- 
tion. I am now well again, and have only to fear a re- 
lapse, which I shall do all I can to prevent, by a relaxa- 
tion in study. 

I have now written too much. 

I am very sincerely yours, 

H. K. White. 



LETTERS. 313 



P.S. I charge you, as you value my peace, not to let 
my friends hear, either directly or indirectly, of my 
illness. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

St John's, 30th July 1806. 
My dear Neville, 

I had deferred sitting down to write to you until I 
should have leisure to send you a very long letter ; but as 
that time seems every day farther off, I shall beg your 
patience no longer, but -fill my sheet as well as I can. 

I must first reply to your queries. I beg pardon for 

having omitted to mention the receipt of the , but 

as I acknowledged the receipt of the parcel, I concluded 
that you would understand me to mean its contents as 
specified in your letter. But I know the accuracy of a 
man of business too well to think your caution strange. 
As to the College prizes, I have the satisfaction of telling 
you that I am entitled to two, viz., the first for the 
general examination, and one of the first for the classical 
composition. I say one of the first, on this account — 1 
am quite equal with two others at the top of the list. In 
this contest, I had all the men of the three years to con- 
tend with, and, as both my equals are my seniors in 
standing, I have no reason to be dissatisfied. 
* * * * 

The Rhetoric lecturer sent me one of ray Latin Essays 
to copy, for the purpose of inspection ; a compliment 
which was paid to none of the rest. 

We three are the only men who are honoured with prizes, 
so that we have cut four or five Eton men, who are always 
boasting of their classical ability. 

With regard to your visit here, I think you had better 
come in term time, as the University is quite empty, and 
starers have nothing but the buildings to gaze at. If, 
however, you can come more conveniently now than 



314 HENRY KIKKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



hereafter, I would advise you not to let this circumstance 

prevent you. I shall be glad to see Mr with you. 

\ ou may spend a few days very pleasantly here, even in 
vacation time, though you will scarcely meet a gownsman 
in the streets. 

I thought the matter over about , but I do not 

think I have any influence here. Being myself a young 
man, I cannot, with any chance of success, attempt to 
direct even that interest which I may claim with others. 

* * * * 

The University is the worst place in the world for mak- 
ing interest. The great mass of men are themselves 
busily employed in wriggling themselves into places and 
livings ; and there is, in general, too much anxiety for 
No. 1, to permit any interference for a neighbour, JS T o. 2. 



TO HIS MOTHER. 

St John's, Aug. 1806. 
My dear Mother, 

I have no hesitation in declining the free-school, on 
the ground of its precluding the exercise of the minis- 
terial duties. I shall take the liberty of writing Mr 

, to thank him for having thought of me, and to 

recommend to his notice Mr . 

But do not fret yourself, my dear mother ; in a few 
years we shall, I hope, be in happier circumstances. I 
am not too sanguine in my expectations, but I shall cer- 
tainly be able to assist you and my sisters in a few 
years. * * * As for Maria and Kate, if they suc- 
ceed well in their education, they may, perhaps, be able 
to keep a school of a superior kind, where the profits 
will be greater, and the labour less. I even hope that 
this may not be necessary, and that you, my father, and 
they, may come and live with me when I get a parson- 
age. You would be pleased to see how comfortably Mr 




Ton -wTcrnltL lie pleased to see 1 
lores with, lis moth, ex and siste 
aboirr ten miles from Carol: 
Ixulcixno. 



otv- comfortably M 1 ' 

-s at a snug little xectoxy 
idge. So ran cl. fox castle 
P 314-5. 



LETTERS. 315 



lives with his mother and sisters, at a snug little 



rectory about ten miles from Cambridge. So much for 
castle building. 



TO MR 



St John's, 15th Aug. 1806. 
My good Friend, 

I have deferred writing to you until my return from 

Mr 's, knowing how much you would like to hear 

from me in respect to that dear family. I am afraid 
your patience has been tried by this delay, and I trust 
to this circumstance alone as my excuse. 

My hours have seldom flowed so agreeably as they did 

at S , nor perhaps have I made many visits which 

have been more profitable to me in a religious sense. 

The example of Mr will, I hope, stimulate me to 

a faithful preparation for the sacred office to which I am 
destined. I say a faithful preparation, because I fear 
I am apt to deceive myself with respect to my present 
pursuits, and to think I am only labouring for the honour 
of God, when I am urging literary labours to a degree 

inconsistent with duty, and my real interests. Mr 

is a good and careful pastor ; my heart has seldom been 
so full as when I have accompanied him to the chambers 
of the sick, or have heard his affectionate addresses to 
the attentive crowd which fills his schoolroom on Sun- 
day evening. He is so earnest, and yet so sober ; so 

wise, and yet so simple ! You, my dear H , are 

now very nearly approaching to the sacred office, and I 
sincerely pray that you may be stimulated to follow after 
the pattern of our excellent friend. You may have Mr 

's zeal, but you will need his learning and his 

judgment to temper it. Remember, that it is a work of 
much more self-denial, for a man of active habits to sub- 
mit to a course of patient study, than to suffer many 
privations for Christ's sake. In the latter the heart is 



316 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

warmly interested ; the other is the slow and unsatis- 
factory labour of the head, tedious in its progress, and 
uncertain in its produce. Yet there is a pleasure, great 
and indescribable pleasure, in sanctified study : the 
more wearisome the toil, the sweeter will it be to those 
who sit down with a subdued and patient spirit, content 
to undergo much, tedium and fatigue, for the honour of 
God's ministry. Reading, however dry, soon becomes 
interesting if we pursue it w T ith a resolute spirit of in- 
vestigation, and a determinate purpose of thoroughly 
mastering what we are about. You cannot take up the 
most tiresome book, on the most tiresome subject, and 
read it with fixed attention for an hour, but you feel a 
desire to go on ; and here I would exhort you, whatever 
j'ou read, read it accurately and thoroughly, and never 
to pass over anything, however minute, which you do 
not quite comprehend. This is the only way to become 
really learned, and to make your studies satisfactory and 
productive. If I were capable of directing your course 
of reading, I should recommend you to peruse Butler's 
Analogy, Warburton's Divine Legation, Pricleaux and 
Shuckford's Connexions, and Milner's Church History, 
century for century along with Mosheim's Ecclesiastical 
History. The latter is learned, concise, clear, and 
written in good scholastic Latin. Study the Chronology 
of the Old Testament, and, as a mean of making it in- 
teresting, trace out the completion of the prophecies. 
Read your Greek Testament with the nicest accuracy, 
tracing every word to its root, and seeking out the full 
force of particular expressions, by reference both to 
Parkhurst and Scapula. The derivation of words will 
throw great light on many parts of the New Testament ; 
thus, if we know that the word Itoocovog, a deacon, comes 
from fa a and xovio, to bustle about in the dust, we shall 
have a fuller notion of the humility of those who held 
the office in the primitive church. In reading the Old 
Testament, wherever you find a passage obscure, turn to 
the Septuagint, which will often clear up a place better 
than fifty commentators. Thus, in Joel, the day of the 
Lord is called " a day of gloominess, a day of dark- 



LETTERS. 317 

ness, and of clouds, like the morning spread upon the 
mountains" which is a contradiction. Looking at the 
Septuagint, we find that the passage is mispointed, and 
that the latter metaphor is applied to the people : u A 
people great and strong, like the morning spread upon 
the mountains." The Septuagint is very easy Greek, 
quite as much so as the Greek Testament ; and a little 
practice of this kind will help you in your knowledge of 
the language, and make you a good critic. I perceive 
your English style is very unpolished, and I think this 
a matter of great moment. I should recommend you to 
read, and imitate as nearly as you can, the serious papers 
in the eighth volume of the Spectator, particularly those 
on the Ubiquity of the Deity, Accustom yourself to 
write down your thoughts, and to polish the style some 
time after composition, when you have forgotten the ex- 
pression. Aim at conciseness, neatness, and clearness ; 
never make use of fine or vulgar words. Avoid every 
epithet which does not add greatly to the idea, for every 
addition of this kind, if it do not strengthen, weakens 
the sentiment ; and be cautious never to express by two 
words what you can do as well by one : a multiplicity of 
words only hides the sense, just as a superabundance of 
clothes does the shape. Thus much for studies. 
* * * m 

I recommend you to pause and consider much and well 
on the subject of matrimony. You have heard my sen- 
timents with regard to a rich wife ; but I am much too 
young, and too great an enthusiast, to be even a toler- 
able counsellor on a point like this. You must think for 
yourself, and consult with prudent and pious people, 
whose years have taught them the wisdom of the present 
world, and whose experience has instructed them in that 
of the world to come. Bat a little sober thought is 
worth a world of advice. You have, however, an in- 
fallible adviser, and to his directions you may safely 
look. To him I commend all your ways. 

I have one observation to make, which I hope you will 
forgive in me ; it is, that you fall in love too readily. 
I have no notion of a man's having a certain species of 



318 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

affection for two women at once. I am afraid you let 
your admiration outrun your judgment in the outset, and 
then comes the denouement and its attendant, disap- 
pointment and disgust. Take good heed you do not do 
this in marriage ; for if you do, there will be great risk 
of your making shipwreck of your hopes. Be content 
to learn a woman's good qualities as they gradually re- 
veal themselves ; and do not let your imagination adorn 
her with virtues and charms to which she has no pre- 
tension. I think there is often a little disappointment 
after marriage — our angels turn out to be mere Eves ; — 
but the true way of avoiding, or, at least, lessening this 
inconvenience, is to estimate the object of our affections 
really as she is, without deceiving ourselves, and injur- 
ing her, by elevating her above her sphere. This is the 
way to be happy in marriage ; for, upon this plan, our 
partners will be continually breaking in upon us, and 
delighting us with some new discovery of excellence ; 
while, upon the other plan, we shall always be finding 
that the reality falls short of what we had so fondly and 
so foolishly imagined. 

Be very sedulous and very patient in your studies. 
You would shudder at the idea of obtruding yourself on 
the sacred office in a condition rather to disgrace than to 
adorn it. St Paul is earnest in admonishing Timothy 
to give attention to reading : and that holy apostle him- 
self quotes from several of the best authors among the 
Greeks. His style is also very elegant, and polished on 
occasion. He, therefore, did not think the graces of 
composition beneath his attention, as >ome foolish and 
ignorant preachers of the present day are apt to do. I 
have written a longer letter to you than I expected, and 
T must now therefore say good bye. 

I am very affectionately yours, 

H. K. White. 



LETTERS. 319 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 

St John's, 12th Aug. 1806. 
Dear Neville, 

I can but just manage to tell you, by this post, what 
I am sure you will be glad to learn, even at the expense 
of sevenpence for an empty sheet, that Mr Catton has 
given me an exhibition, which makes my whole income 
sixty guineas a year. My last term's bill was £13, 13s., 
and I had £7, 12s. to receive ; but the expenses of this 
vacation will leave me bare until Christmas. 

I have the pleasure of not having solicited either this 
or any other of the favours which Mr Catton has so li- 
berally bestowed upon me : and though I have been the 
possessor of this exhibition ever since March last, yet Mr 
Catton did not hint it to me until this morning, when he 
gave me my bill. 

I have, of course, signified to Mr Simeon that I shall 
have no need whatever of the stipend which I have 
hitherto received through his hands. He was extremely 
kind on the occasion, and indeed his conduct towards me 

has ever been fatherly. It was Mr .who allowed 

me £20 per annum, and Mr Simeon added £10. He 
told me that my conduct gave him the most heartfelt 
joy ; that I was so generally respected, without having 
made any compliances, as he understood, or having, in 
any instance, concealed my principles. Indeed, this is 
a praise which I may claim, though I never conceived 
that it was at all an object of praise. I have always 
taken some pains to let those around me know my reli- 
gious sentiments, as a saving of trouble, and as a mark 
of that independence of opinion which, I think, every 
one ought to assert : and as I have produced my opin- 
ions with frankness and modesty, and supported them (if 
attacked) with coolness and candour, I have never found 
them any impediment to my acquaintance with any per- 
son whose acquaintance I coveted, 



320 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 



TO MR R. W. A. 

St John's, 18th Aug. 1800. 
Dear A , 

I am glad to hear of your voyages and travels through 
various regions, and various seas, both of this island and 
its little suckling, the Isle of Wight. 

Many hairs-breadth 'scapes and perilous adventures 
you must needs have had, and many a time, on the ex- 
treme shores of the south, must you have looked up with 
the eye of intelligent curiosity, to see whether the same 
moon shone there as in the pleasant, but now far dis- 
tant, groves of Colvvick. And now, my very wise and 
travelled friend, seeing that your head is yet upon your 
shoulders, and your neck in its right natural position, 
and seeing that, after all the changes and chances of a 
long journey, and after being banged from post to pillar, 
and from pillar to post, — seeing, I say, that, after all 
this, you are safely housed once more under your pater- 
nal roof, what think you, if you were to indulge your 
mind as much as you have done your eyes and gaping 
muscles ? A few trips to the fountains of light and 
colour, or to the regions of the good lady who %sg<rfo 
oLo&hoig lus7rci oi(po^pou ttovtou, a ramble down the Galaxy, 
and a few peeps on the unconfined confines [ttot^ou 
aftOTfiov, vrtvov ccv7TU0'j, fitov ov fiic>)Toi>cth) of infinite space, 
would prove, perhaps, as delectable to your immaterial 
part, as the delicious see- saw of a post-chaise was to 
your corporeal ; or. if these etherial, aeronautical, ma- 
thematical, volutations should displease you, perhaps it 
would not be amiss to saunter a few weeks on the site of 
Troy, or to lay out plans of ancient history on the de- 
bateable ground of the Peloponnesians and Athenians. 
There is one Thucydides, who lives near, who will tell 
you all about the places you visit, and the great events 
connected with them : he is a sententious old fellow, 
very shrewd in his remarks, and speaks, moreover, very 
excellent Greek at your service. I know not whether 



LETTERS. 321 



you have met with any guide in the course of your bodily 
travels who can be compared to him. If you should 
make Rome in your way, either there or back, I should 
like to give you a letter of introduction to an old friend 
of mine, whose name is Livy, who, as far as his memory 
extends, will amuse you with pretty stories, and some 
true history. There is another honest fellow enough, 
to whom I dare not recommend you, lie is so very crabbed 
and tart, and speaks so much in epigrams and enigmas, 
that I am afraid he would teach you to talk as unintel- 
ligibly as himself. I do not mean to give you any more 
advice, but I have one exhortation, which I hope you will 
take in good part ; it is this, that if you set out on this 
journey, you would please to proceed to its end : for I 
have been acquainted with some young men, who have 
turned their faces towards Athens or Rome, and trudged 
on manfully for a few miles, but when they had travelled 
till they grew weary, and worn out a good pair of shoes, 
have suddenly become disheartened, and returned without 
any recompence for their pains. 

And now let me assume a more serious strain, and ex- 
hort you to cultivate your mind with the utmost assiduity. 
You are at a critical period of your life, and the habits 
which you now form will, most probably, adhere to you 
through life. If they be idle habits, I am sure they will. 

But even the cultivation of your mind is of minor im- 
portance to that of your heart, your temper, and disposi- 
tion. Here I have need, not to preach but to learn. You 
have had less to encounter in your religious progress than 
2" have, and your progress has been therefore greater, 
greater even than your superior faculties would have 
warranted. I have had to fight hard with vanity at home. 
and applause abroad ; no wonder that my vessel has 
been tossed about, but greater wonder that it is yet upon 
the waves. I exhort you to pray with me, (and I entreat 
you to pray for me,) that we may both weather out the 
storm, and arrive in the haven of sound tranquillity, even 
on this side the grave. 

We have all particular reason to watch and pray, lest 
self too much predominate. We should accustom our- 



322 HENRY KIRKE WHITE ? S REMAINS. 

selves to hold our own comforts and conveniences as sub- 
ordinate to the comforts and conveniences of others in all 
things ; and a habit thus begun in little matters, might 
probably be extended without difficulty to those of a 
higher nature. 

* -H- * * 



TO MR. B. MADDOCK. 

St John's, 14th Sept. 1806. 
My dear Ben, 

I can scarcely write more to you now than just to calm 
your uneasiness on my account. I am perfectly well again, 
and have experienced no recurrence of the fit ; my spi- 
rits, too, are better, and I read very moderately. I 
hope that God will be pleased to spare his rebellious 
child ; this stroke has brought me nearer to him : whom 
indeed have I for my comforter, but him ? 

I a,m still reading, but with moderation, as I have been 
during the whole vacation, whatever you may persist in 
thinking. 

My heart turns with more fondness towards the con- 
solations of religion than it did, and in some degree I 
have found consolation. I still, however, conceive that 
it is my duty to pursue my studies temperately, and to 
fortify myself with Christian resignation and calmness 
for the worst. I am much wanting in these virtues, and, 
indeed, in all Christian virtues, but I know how desir- 
able they are, and I long for them. Pray that I may 
be strengthened and enlightened, and that I may be en- 
abled to go where duty bids, wherever that be. 
$ * * # 



TO MR. B. MADDOCK. 

St John's, Cambridge, 22d Sept. 1806. 
My dear Friend, 

K < ' * ' * * 

You charge me with an accession of gallantry of late : 



LETTEES. 323 



I plead guilty. I really began to think of marriage (very 
prematurely, you'll say) ; but if I experience any repeti- 
tion of the Jit, I shall drop the idea of it for ever. It would 
be folly and cruelty to involve another in all the horrors 
of such a calamity. 

I thank you for your kind exhortations to a complete 
surrender of my heart to God, which are contained in 
your letter. In this respect I have betrayed the most de- 
plorable weakness and indecision of character. I know 
what the truth is, and I love it ; but I still go on giving 
myself half to God, and half to the world, as if I expected 
to enjoy the comforts of religion along with the vanities 
of life. If, for a short time, I keep up a closer communion 
with God, and feel my whole bosom bursting with sor- 
row and tenderness as I approach the footstool of my 
Saviour, I soon relapse into in difference, worldly minded- 
ness, and sin ; my devotions become listless and perfunc- 
tory : I dote on the world, its toys, and its corruptious, and 
am mad enough to be willing to sacrifice the happiness 
of eternity to the deceitful pleasures of the passing mo- 
ment. My heart is indeed a lamentable sink of loathsome 
corruption and hypocrisy. In consistency with my pro- 
fessed opinions, I am often obliged to talk on subjects of 
which I know but little in experience, and to rank myself 
with those who have felt what I only approve from my 
head, and perhaps, esteem from my heart. I often start 
with horror and disgust from myself, when I consider 
how deeply I have imperceptibly gone into this species 
of simulation. Yet I think my love for the gospel, and 
its professors, is sincere ; only I am insincere in suffering 
persons to entertain a high opinion of me as a child of 
God, when indeed I am an alien from him. On looking 
over some private memorandums which were written at 
various times in the course of the last two years, I beheld, 
with inexpressible anguish, that my progress has, if any- 
thing, been retrograde. I am still as dark, still as cold, 
still as ignorant, still as fond of the world, and have 
still fewer desires after holiness. I am very, very dissa- 
tisfied with myself, and yet I am not prompted to earnest 
prayer. I have been so often earnest, and always have 



324 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

fallen away, that I go to God without hope, without faith. 
Yet I am not totally without hope ; I know God will have 
my w T hole heart, and I know when I give him that, I 
shall experience the light of his countenance with a perma- 
nency. I pray that he would assist my weakness and 
grant me some portion of his grace, in order that I may 
overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, to which I 
have long, very long, been a willing though an unhappy 
slave. Do you pray earnestly with me, and for me, in 
these respects ; I know the prayers of the faithful avail 
much ; and w T hen you consider with what great tempta- 
tions I am surrounded, and how very little strength I 
have wherewith to resist them, you will feel with me the 
necessity of earnest supplication, and fervent interces- 
sion, lest I should be lost, and cast away for ever. 

I shall gladly receive your spiritual advice and direc- 
tions. I have gone on too long in coldness and uncon- 
cern ; who knows whether, if I neglect the present hour, 
the day of salvation may not be gone by for ever ! 
* * # ¥a 



TO MR JOHN CHARLESWORTH. 

St John's, 22d Sept. 1806. 
My dear Charlesworth, 

Thank you for taking the blame of our neglected cor- 
respondence on your own shoulders. I thought it rested 
elsewhere. Thrice have I begun to write to you ; once in 
Latin, and twice in English ; and each time have the fates 
opposed themselves to the completion of my design. But, 
however, pax sit rebus, we are naturally disposed to for- 
give, because we are, as far as intention goes, mutually 
offenders. 

I thank you for your invitation to Clapham, which came 
at a fortunate juncture, since I had just settled with my 
tutor that I should pay a visit to my brother in London this 
week. I shall of course see you ; and shall be happy to 



LETTERS. 325 



spend a few days with you at Clapham, and to rhapsodize 
on your common. It gives me pleasure to hear you are 
settled, and I give you many hearty good wishes for prac- 
tice and prosperity. I hope you will soon find that a wife 
is a very necessary article of enjoyment in a domesticated 
state ; for how indeed should it be otherwise ? A man 
cannot cook his dinner while he is employed in earning it. 
Housekeepers are complete helluones rei fa?niliaris, and 
not only pick your pockets, but abuse you into the bargain. 
While a wife, on the contrary, both cooks your dinner, and 
enlivens it with her society ; receives you after the toils 
of the day with cheerfulness and smiles, and is not only the 
faithful guardian of your treasury, but the soother of your 
cares, and the alleviator of your calamities. Now, am 
I not very poetical ? But on such a subject who would 
not be poetical ? A wife ! — a domestic fire-side ! — the 
cheerful assiduities of love and tenderness ! It would 
inspire a Dutch burgomaster ! and if, with all this in 
your grasp, you shall still choose the pulsar e t err am 
pede libero, still avoid the irrupta copula, still deem it 
a matter of light regard to be an object of affection and 
fondness to an amiable and sensible woman, why then 
you deserve to be a fellow of a college all your days ; to 
be kicked about in your last illness by a saucy and care- 
less bed-maker ; and, lastly, to be put in the ground in 
your college chapel, followed only by the man who is to 
be your successor. Why, man, I dare no more dream 
that I shall ever have it in my power to have a wife, 
than that I shall be Archbishop of Canterbury, and 
Primate of all England. A suite of rooms in a still and 
quiet corner of old St John's, which was once occupied 
by a crazy monk, or by one of the translators of the 
Bible in the days of good King James, must form the 
boundary of my ambition. I must be content to inhabit 
walls which never echoed with a female voice — to be 
buried in glooms which were never cheered with a female 
smile. It is said, indeed, that women were sometimes 
permitted to visit St John's, when it was a monastery of 
White Friars, in order to be present at particular reli- 
gious ceremonies ; but the good monks were careful to 



326 HENRY KTRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

sprinkle holy water wherever their profane footsteps had 
carried contagion and pollution. 

It is well that you are free from the restrictions of 
monastic austerity, and that, while I sleep under the 
shadow of towers and lofty walls, and the safeguard of 
a vigilant porter, you are permitted to inhabit your own 
cottage, under your own guardianship, and to listen to 
the sweet accents of domestic affection. 

Yes, my very Platonic, or rather Stoical friend, I 
must see you safely bound in the matrimonial noose, and 
then like a confirmed bachelor, ten years hence, I shall 
have the satisfaction of pretending to laugh at, while, in 
my heart, I envy you. So much for rhapsody. I am 
coming to London for relaxation's sake, and shall take 
it pretty freely ; that is, I shall seek after fine sights — 
stare at fine people — be cheerful with the gay — foolish 
with the simple — and leave as little room to suspect as 
possible that I am (anything of) a philosopher and mathe- 
matician. I shall probably talk a little Greek, but it will 
be by stealth, in order to excite no suspicion. 
* * * * 

I shall be in town on Friday or Saturday. I am in a 
very idle mood, and have written you a very idle letter, 
for which I entreat your pardon, and 

I am, dear C , 

Very sincerely yours, 

H. K. White. 



TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. 
(Found in his pocket after his decease!) 
St John's College, Saturday, 11th October 1806. 
Dear Neville, 

I am safely arrived, and in college, but my illness has 
increased upon me much. The cough continues, and is 
attended with a good deal of fever. I am under the 
care of Mr Farish, and entertain very little apprehen- 
sion about the cough ; but my over-exertions in town 



LETTERS, 327 



have reduced me to a state of much debility ; and, un- 
til the cough be gone, I cannot be permitted to take any- 
strengthening medicines. This places me in an awk- 
ward predicament ; but I think I perceive a degree of 
expectoration this morning, which will soon relieve me, 
and then I shall mend apace. 

Under these circumstances, T must not expect to see 
you here at present : when I am a little recovered, it 
will be a pleasant relaxation to me. 

* * * # 

Our lectures began on Friday, but I do not attend 
them until I am better. I have not written to my mother, 
nor shall I while I remain unwell. You will tell her 
as a reason, that our lectures began on Friday. I know 
she will be uneasy if she do not hear from me, and still 
more so, if I tell her I am ill. 

I cannot write more at present, than that I am 
Your truly affectionate brother, 

H. K. White. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.- No. I. 

■ " There is a mood 



(I sing not to the vacant and the young), 

There is a kindly mood of Melancholy, 

That wings the soul and points her to the skies." 

Dyer. 

Philosophers have divested themselves of their natu- 
ral apathy, and poets have risen above themselves, in 
descanting on the pleasures of Melancholy. There is no 
mind so gross, no understanding so uncultivated, as to 
be incapable, at certain moments, and amid certain com- 
binations, of feeling that sublime influence upon the spi- 
rits, which steals the soul from the petty anxieties of the 
world, 

" And fits it to hold converse with the gods." 

I must confess, if such there be who never felt the 
divine abstraction, I envy them not their insensibility. 
For my own part, it is from the indulgence of this sooth- 
ing power that I derive the most exquisite of gratifica- 
tions. At the calm hour of moonlight, amid all the 
sublime serenity, the dead stillness of the night, or when 
the howling storm rages in the heavens, the rain pelts 
on my roof, and the winds whistle through the crannies 
of my apartment, I feel the divine mood of melancholy 
upon me ; I imagine myself placed upon an eminence, 
above the crowds who pant below in the dusty tracks of 
wealth and honour. The black catalogue of crimes and 



I.] MELANCHOLY HOUKS. 329 

of vice, the sad tissue of wretchedness and woe, passes 
in review before me, and I look down upon man with an 
eye of pity and commiseration. Though the scenes which 
I survey be mournful, and the ideas they excite equally 
sombre, though the tears gush as I contemplate them, and 
my heart feels heavy with the sorrowful emotions they in- 
spire, yet are they not unaccompanied with sensations of 
the purest and most ecstatic bliss, 

It is to the spectator alone that melancholy is forbid- 
ding ; in herself she is soft and interesting, and capable 
of affording pure and unalloyed delight. Ask the lover 
why he muses by the side of the purling brook, or plunges 
into the deep gloom of the forest. Ask the unfortunate 
why he seeks the still shades of solitude, or the man who 
feels the pangs of disappointed ambition, why he retires 
into the silent walks of seclusion, and he will tell you that 
he derives a pleasure therefrom which nothing else can 
impart. It is the delight of melancholy ; but the melan- 
choly of these beings is as far removed from that of the 
philosopher as are the narrow^ and contracted complaints 
of selfishness from the mournful regrets of expansive 
philanthropy ; as are the desponding intervals of insa- 
nity from the occasional depressions of benevolent sensi- 
bility. 

The man who has attained that calm equanimity which 
qualifies him to look down upon the petty evils of life with 
indifference, who can so far conquer the weakness of na- 
ture as to consider the sufferings of the individual of little 
moment, when put in competition with the welfare of the 
community, is alone the true philosopher. His melan- 
choly is not excited by the retrospect of his own misfor- 
tunes ; it has its rise from the contemplation of the mi- 
series incident to life and the evils which obtrude them- 
selves upon society and interrupt the harmony of nature. 
It w r ould be arrogating too much merit to myself to assert 
that I have a just claim to the title of a philosopher, as 
it is here defined ; or to say that the speculations of my 
melancholy hours are equally disinterested ; be this as it 
may, I have determined to present my solitary effusions 
to the public : they will at least have the merit of novelty 



330 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

to recommend them, and may possibly, in some measure, 
be instrumental in the melioration of the human heart or 
the correction of false prepossessions. This is the height 
of my ambition : this once attained, and my end will be 
fully accomplished. One thing I can safely promise, 
though far from being the coinages of a heart at ease, they 
will contain neither the querulous captiousness of misfor- 
tune nor the bitter taunts of misanthropy. Society is a 
chain of which I am merely a link ; all men are my asso- 
ciates in error, and though some may have gone farther 
in the ways of guilt than myself, yet it is not in me to sit 
in judgment upon them : it is mine to treat them rather 
in pity than in anger, to lament their crimes, and to weep 
over their sufferings. As these papers will be the amuse- 
ment of those hours of relaxation when the mind recedes 
from the vexations of business, and sinks into itself for a 
moment of solitary ease, rather than the efforts of literary 
leisure, the reader will not expect to find in them un- 
usual elegance of language or studied propriety of style. 
In the short and necessary intervals of cessation from 
the anxieties of an irksome employment, one finds little 
time to be solicitous about expression. If, therefore, 
the fervour of a glowing mind expresses itself in too 
warm and luxuriant a manner for the cold ear of dull 
propriety, let the fastidious critic find a selfish pleasure 
in descrying it. To criticism melancholy is indifferent. 
If learning cannot be better employed than in declaim- 
ing against the defects while it is insensible to the beau- 
ties of a performance, well may we exclaim with the 
poet : — 

il evphys clyvoict, &g dftcdftcg rig el 
Or xv 01 (TV ov tftois ovrag aovx etyvosi. 

W. 



II.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 331 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. II. 

" But (wel-a-day) who lores the Muses now? 
Or helpes the climber of the sacred hyll ? 
None leane to them, but strive to disalow 
All heavenly dewes the goddesses distill." 

Wm. Browne's Shepkeard's Pipe. Eg. 5. 

It is a melancholy reflection, and a reflection which 
often sinks heavily on my soul, that the sons of Genius 
generally seem predestined to encounter the rudest storms 
of adversity, to struggle, unnoticed, with poverty and mis- 
fortune. The annals of the world present us with many 
corroborations of this remark ; and, alas ! who can tell 
how many unhappy beings, who might have shone with 
distinguished lustre among the stars which illumine our 
hemisphere, may have sunk unknown beneath the pres- 
sure of untoward circumstances ; who knows how many 
may have shrunk, with all the exquisite sensibility of ge- 
nius, from the rude and riotous discord of the world into 
the peaceful slumbers of death. Among the number of 
those whose talents might have elevated them to the first 
rank of eminence, but who have been overwhelmed with 
the accumulated ills of poverty and misfortune, I do not 
hesitate to rank a young man whom I once accounted it 
my greatest happiness to be able to call my friend. 

Charles Waneley was the only son of an humble 
village rector, who just lived to give him a liberal educa- 
tion, and then left him, unprovided for and unprotected, 
to struggle through the world as well as he could. With 
a heart glowing with the enthusiasm of poetry and ro- 
mance, with a sensibility the most exquisite, and with 
an indignant pride which swelled in his veins, and told 
him he was a man, my friend found himself cast upon 
the wide world, at the age of sixteen, an adventurer, 
without fortune and without connexion. As his inde- 
pendent spirit could not brook the idea of being a 



332 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

burthen to those whom his father had taught him to 
consider only as allied by blood, and not by affection, 
he looked about him for a situation, which could ensure 
to him, by his own exertions, an honourable competence. 
It was not long before such a situation offered, and 
Charles precipitately articled himself to an attorney, 
without giving himself time to consult his own inclina- 
tions, or the disposition of his master. The transition 
from Sophocles and Euripides, Theocritus and Ovid, to 
Finche and Wood, Coke and Wynne, was striking and 
difficult ; but Charles applied himself with his wonted 
ardour to his new study, as considering it not only his 
interest but his duty so to do. It was not long, how- 
ever, before he discovered that he disliked the law, that 
he disliked his situation, and that he despised his master. 
The fact was, my friend had many mortifications to en- 
dure which his haughty soul could ill brook. The at- 
torney to whom he was articled was one of those narrow- 
minded beings who consider wealth as alone entitled to 
respect. He had discovered that his clerk was very 
poor and very destitute of friends, and thence he very 
naturally concluded, that he might insult him with im- 
punity. It appears, however, that he was mistaken in 
his calculations. I one night remarked that my friend 
was unusually thoughtful. I ventured to ask him whe- 
ther he had met with anything particular to ruffle his 
spirits. He looked at me for some moments signifi- 
cantly, then, as if roused to fury by the recollection — 
" I have," said he, vehemently, " I have, I have ! He 
has insulted me grossly, and I will bear it no longer." 
He now walked up and down the room with visible emo- 
tion. Presently he sat down. He seemed more com- 
posed. " My friend," said he, "I have endured much 
from this man. I conceived it my duty to forbear, but 
I have forborne until forbearance is blameabie, and, by 
the Almighty, I will never again - endure what I have 
endured this day ! But not only this man ; every one 
thinks he may treat me with contumely, because I am 
poor and friendless. But I am a man, and will no 
longer tamely submit to be the sport of fools and the 



II.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 333 

football of caprice. In this spot of earth, though it 
gave me birth, I can never taste of ease. Here I must 
be miserable. The principal end of man is to arrive 
at happiness. Here I can never attain it ; and here, 
therefore, I will no longer remain. My obligations to 
the rascal who calls himself my master are cancelled by 
his abuse of the authority I rashly placed in his hands. 
I have no relations to bind me to this particular place." 
The tears started in his eyes as he spoke. " I have no 
tender ties to bid me stay, and why do I stay? The 
world is all before me. My inclination leads me to 
travel ; I will pursue that inclination ; and, perhaps, in 
a strange land I may find that repose which is denied 
to me in the place of my birth. My finances, it is true, 
are ill able to support the expenses of travelling : but 
what then — Goldsmith, my friend !" with rising en- 
thusiasm, " Goldsmith traversed Europe on foot, and I 
am as hardy as Goldsmith. Yes, I will go, and perhaps, 
ere long, I may sit me down on some towering mountain, 
and exclaim with him, while a hundred realms lie in 
perspective before me, — 

" Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine." 

It was in vain I entreated him to reflect maturely ere 
he took so bold a step ; he was deaf to my importunities, 
and the next morning I received a letter informing me of 
bis departure. He was observed about sun-rise sitting 
on the stile at the top of an eminence which commanded 
a prospect of the surrounding country, pensively looking 
towards the village. I could divine his emotions on thus 
casting, probably, a last look on his native place. The 
neat white parsonage house, with the honeysuckle mant- 
ling on its wall, I knew would receive his last glance ; 
and the image of his father would present itself to his 
mind, with a melancholy pleasure, as he was thus hasten- 
ing, a solitary individual, to plunge himself into the 
crowds of the world, deprived of that fostering hand 
which would otherwise have been his support and guide. 

From this period Charles Waneley was never heard of 
at L ; and as his few relations cared little about 



334 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

him, in a short time it was almost forgotten that such a 
being had ever been in existence. 

About five years had elapsed from this period, when 
my occasions led me to the Continent, I will confess, 
I was not without a romantic hope that I might again 
meet with my lost friend ; and that often, with that 
idea, I scrutinized the features of the passengers. One 
fine moonlight night, as I was strolling down the grand 
Italian Strada di Toledo, at Naples, I observed a crowd 
assembled round a man, who, with impassioned gestures, 
seemed to be vehemently declaiming to the multitude. 
It was one of the Improvisatori, who recite extempore 
verses in the streets of Naples, for what money they can 
collect from the hearers. I stopped to listen to the man's 
metrical romance, and had remained in the attitude of 
attention some time, when, happening to turn round, I 
beheld a person, very shabbily dressed, stedfastly gazing 
at me. The moon shone full in his face. I thought his 
features were familiar to me. He was pale and emaci- 
ated, and his countenance bore marks of the deepest dejec- 
tion. Yet, amidst all these changes, I thought I recog- 
nised Charles Waneley. I stood stupified with surprise. 
My senses nearly failed me. On recovering myself, I 
looked again, but he had left the spot the moment he found 
himself observed. I darted through the crowd, and ran 
every way which I thought he could have gone, but it was 
all to no purpose. Nobody knew him. Nobody had even 
seen such a person. The two following days I renewed 
my inquiries, and at last discovered the lodgings where a 
man of his description had resided. But he had left 
Naples the morning after his form had struck my eyes. I 
found he gained a subsistence by drawing rude figures in 
chalks, and vending them among the peasantry. I could 
no longer doubt it was my friend, and immediately per- 
ceived that his haughty spirit could not bear to be re- 
cognised, in such degrading circumstances, by one who 
had known him in better days. Lamenting the mis- 
guided notions which had thus again thrown him from 
me, I left Naples, now grown hateful to my sight, and 
embarked for England. It is now nearly twenty-two 



III.] MELANCHOLY HOUR?. 335 

years since this recounter, during which period he has 
not been heard of : and there can be little doubt that 
this unfortunate young man has found in some remote 
corner of the continent an obscure and an unlamented 
grave. 

Thus, those talents which were formed to do honour 
to human nature, and to the country which gave them 
birth, have been nipped in the bud by the frosts of 
poverty and scorn, and their unhappy possessor lies in an 
unknown and nameless tomb, who might, under happier 
circumstances, have risen to the highest pinnacle of am- 
bition and renown. 

w. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. III. 

" Few know that elegance of soul refin'd 
Whose soft sensation feels a quicker joy 
From melancholy's scenes, than the dull pride 
Of tasteless splendour and magnificence 
Can e'er afford." 

Warton's Melancholy, 

In one of my midnight rambles down the side of the 
Trent, the river which waters the place of my nativity, 
as I was musing on the various evils which darken the 
life of man, and which have their rise in the malevolence 
and ill-nature of his fellows, the sound of a flute from 
an adjoining copse attracted my attention. The tune it 
played was mournful yet soothing. It was suited to 
the solemnity of the hour. As the distant notes came 
wafted at intervals on my ear, now with gradual swell, 
then dying away on the silence of the night, I felt the 
tide of indignation subside within me, and give place to 
the solemn calm of repose. I listened for some time in 
breathless ravishment. The strain ceased, yet the sounds 
still vibrated on my heart, and the visions of bliss 
which they excited still glowed on my imagination. I 



336 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

was then standing in one of my favourite retreats. It 
was a little alcove, overshadowed with willows, and a 
mossy seat at the back invited to rest. I laid myself 
listlessly on the bank. The Trent murmured softly at 
my feet, and the willows sighed as they waved over my 
head. It was the holy moment of repose, and I soon 
sunk into a deep sleep. The operations of fancy in a 
slumber induced by a combination of circumstances so 
powerful and uncommon, could not fail to be wild and 
romantic in the extreme. Methought I found myself in 
an extensive area, filled with an immense concourse of 
people. At one end was a throne of adamant, on which 
sat a female, in whose aspect I immediately recognised a 
divinity. She was clad in a garb of azure ; on her fore- 
head she bore a sun, whose splendour the eyes of many 
were unable to bear, and whose rays illumined the 
whole space, and penetrated into the deepest recesses of 
darkness. The aspect of the goddess at a distance was 
forbidding, but on a nearer approach it was mild and en- 
gaging. Her eyes were blue and piercing, and there was 
a fascination in her smile which charmed as if by en- 
chantment. The air of intelligence which beamed in her 
look made the beholder shrink into himself with the con- 
sciousness of inferiority ; yet the affability of her deport- 
ment, and the simplicity and gentleness of her manners 
soon reassured him, while the bewitching softness which 
she could at times assume, won his permanentesteem. On 
inquiry of a bystander who it was that sat on the throne, 
and what was the occasion of so uncommon an assembly, 
he informed me that it was the Goddess of Wisdom, 
who had at last succeeded in regaining the dominion 
of the earth, which Folly had so long usurped. That she 
sat there in her judicial capacity, in order to try the me- 
rits of many who were supposed to be the secret emissaries 
of Folly. In this way I understood Envy and Malevo- 
lence had been sentenced to perpetual banishment, though 
several of their adherents yet remained among men, 
whose minds were too gross to be irradiated with the light 
of wisdom. One trial I understood was just ended, and 
another supposed delinquent was about to be put to the bar. 



III.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 337 

With much curiosity I hurried forwards to survey the 
figure which now approached. She was habited in black, 
and veiled to the waist. Her pace was solemn and ma- 
jestic, yet in every movement was a winning graceful- 
ness. As she approached to the bar I got a nearer view 
of her, when what was my astonishment to recognise 
in her the person of my favourite goddess, Melancholy. 
Amazed that she whom I had always looked upon as the 
sister and companion of Wisdom should be brought to 
trial as an emissary and an adherent of Folly, I waited 
in mute impatience for the accusation which should be 
framed against her. On looking towards the centre of 
the area, I was much surprised to see a bustling little 
Cit of my acquaintance, who, by his hemming and clear- 
ing, I concluded was going to make the charge. As he 
was a self-important little fellow, full of consequence 
and business, and totally incapable of all the finer 
emotions of the soul, I could not conceive what ground 
of complaint he could have against Melancholy, who, I 
was persuaded, would never have designed to take up 
her residence for a moment in his breast. When I re- 
collected, however, that he had some sparks of ambition 
in his composition, and that he was an envious, carping 
little mortal, who had formed the design of shouldering 
himself into notice by decrying the defects of others, 
while he was insensible to his own, my amazement and 
my apprehensions vanished as I perceived he only 
wanted to make a display of his own talents, in doing 
which I did not fear his making himself sufficiently ri- 
diculous. 

After a good deal of irrelevant circumlocution, he 
boldly began the accusation of Melancholy. I shall not 
dwell upon the many absurd and many invidious parts 
of his speech, nor upon the many blunders in the mis- 
application of words, such as " deduce" for " detract" 
and others of a similar nature, which my poor friend 
committed in the course of his harangue, but shall only 
dwell upon the material part of the charge. 

He represented the prisoner as the offspring of Idle- 
ness and Discontent, who was at all times a sulky, sullen, 



338 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

and " eminently useless" member of the community, and 
not unfrequently a very dangerous one. He declared it 
to be his opinion, that in case she were to be suffered to 
prevail, mankind would soon become u too idle to go" 
and would all lie down and perish through indolence, or 
through forgetting that sustenance was necessary for the 
preservation of existence : and concluded with painting 
the horrors which would attend such a depopulation of the 
earth, in such colours as made many weak minds regard 
the goddess with fear and abhorrence. 

Having concluded, the accused was called upon for her 
defence. She immediately, with a graceful gesture, lift- 
ed up the veil which concealed her face, and discovered a 
countenance so soft, so lovely, and so sweetly expressive, 
as to strike the beholders with involuntary admiration, 
and which at one glance, overturned all the flimsy sophis- 
try of nrv poor friend the citizen ; and when the silver 
tones of her voice were heard, the murmurs which until 
then had continually arisen from the crowd, were hushed 
to a dead still, and the whole multitude stood transfixed 
in breathless attention. As near as I can recollect, these 
were the words in which she addressed herself to the 
throne of Wisdom : — 

" I shall not deign to give a direct answer to the va- 
rious insinuations which have been thrown out against 
me by my accuser. Let it suffice that I declare my true 
history, in opposition to that which has been so artfully 
fabricated to my disadvantage. In that early age of the 
world when mankind followed the peaceful avocations 
of a pastoral life only, and contentment and harmony 
reigned in every vale, I was not known among men ; but 
when, in process of time, Ambition and Vice, with their 
attendant evils, were sent down as a scourge to the human 
race, I made my appearance. I am the offspring of Mis- 
. fortune and Virtue, and was sent by Heaven to teach my 
parents how to support their afflictions with magnanimity. 
As I grew up, I became the intimate friend of the wisest 
among men. I was the bosom friend of Plato and other 
illustrious sages of antiquity, and was then often known 
by the name of Philosophy, though, in present times, when 



III.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 339 

that title is usurped by mere makers of experiments and 
inventors of blacking cakes, I am only known by the ap- 
pellation of Melancholy. So far from being of a discon- 
tented disposition, my very essence is pious and resigned 
contentment. I teach my votaries to support every vicis- 
situde of fortune with calmness and fortitude. It is mine 
to subdue the stormy propensities of passion and vice, to 
foster and encourage the principles of benevolence and 
philanthropy, and to cherish and bring to perfection the 
seeds of virtue and wisdom. Though feared and hated 
by those who, like my accuser, are ignorant of my nature, 
I am courted and cherished by all the truly wise, the 
good, and the great; the poet woos me as the goddess 
of inspiration ; the true philosopher acknowledges him- 
self indebted to me for his most expansive views of 
human nature ; the good man owes to me that hatred of 
the wrong and love of the right, and that disdain for 
the consequences which may result from the performance 
of his duties, which keeps him good ; and the religious 
flies to me for the only clear and unencumbered view of 
the attributes and perfections of the Deity. So far from 
being idle, my mind is evev on the wing in the regions 
of fancy, or that true philosophy which opens the book 
of human nature, and raises the soul above the evils in- 
cident to life. If I am useless, in the same degree were 
Plato and Socrates, Locke and Paley useless ; it is true 
that my immediate influence is confined, but its effects 
are disseminated by means of literature over every age 
and nation, and mankind, in every generation and in 
every clime, may look to me as their remote illuminator, 
the original spring of the principal intellectual benefits 
they possess. But as there is no good without its attend- 
ant evil, so I have an elder sister, called Frenzy, for whom 
I have often been mistaken, who sometimes follows close 
on my steps, and to her I owe much of the obloquy which 
is attached to my name, though the puerile accusation 
which has just been brought against me, turns on points 
which apply more exclusively to myself." 

She ceased, and a dead pause ensued. The multitude 
seemed struck with the fascination of her utterance and 



340 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

gesture, and the sounds of her voice still seemed to vi- 
brate on every ear. The attention of the assembly, how- 
ever, was soon recalled to the accuser, and their indigna- 
tion at his baseness rose to such a height as to threaten 
general tumult, when the goddess of Wisdom arose, and 
waving her hand for silence, beckoned the prisoner to her, 
placed her on her right hand, and with a sweet smile ac- 
knowledged her for her old companion and friend. She 
then turned to the accuser, with a frown of severity so ter- 
rible, that I involuntarily started with terror from my 
poor misguided friend, and with the violence of the start 
I awoke, and instead of the throne of the goddess of Wis- 
dom, and the vast assembly of people, beheld the first 
rays of the morning peeping over the eastern cloud, and 
instead of the loud murmurs of the incensed multitude, 
heard nothing but the soft gurgling of the river at my feet, 
and the rustling wing of the skylark, who was now be- 
ginning his first matin song. W. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. IV. 

*%X,077Y\G MfAZVOg ivpiOKOV ovhct^tag ecu uT^hag ovrog 

^iDC7rpoc^,c&f^£!/og. 

ISOCR. 

The world has often heard of fortune-hunters, legacy- 
hunters, popularity -hunters, and hunters of various de- 
scriptions. One diversity, however, of this very exten- 
sive species has hitherto eluded public animadversion ; I 
allude to the class of friend -hunters ; men who make it 
the business of their lives to acquire friends, in the hope, 
through their influence, to arrive at some desirable point 
of ambitious eminence. Of all the mortifications and 
anxieties to which mankind voluntarily subject them- 
selves, from the expectation of future benefit, there are, 
perhaps, none more galling, none more insupportable, 



IV.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 341 

than those attendant on friend-making. Show a man 
that you court his society, and it is a signal for him to 
treat you with neglect and contumely. Humour his pas- 
sions, and he despises you as a sycophant. Pay implicit 
deference to his opinions, and he laughs at you for your 
folly. In all he views you with contempt, as the creature 
of his will, as the slave of his caprice. I remember I 
once solicited the acquaintance and coveted the friend- 
ship of one man, and ? thank God, I can yet say (and I hope 
on my deathbed I shall be able to say the same), of only 
one man. 

Germanicus was a character of considerable eminence 
in the literary world. He had the reputation not only 
of an enlightened understanding and refined taste, but 
of openness of heart and goodness of disposition. His 
name always carried with it that weight and authority 
which are due to learning and genius in every situation. 
His manners were polished and his conversation elegant. 
In short, he possessed every qualification which could 
render him an enviable addition to the circle of every 
man's friends. With such a character, as I was then very 
young, I could not fail to feel an ambition of becoming 
acquainted, when the opportunity offered, and in a short 
time we were upon terms of familiarity. To ripen this 
familiarity into friendship, as far as the most awkward 
diffidence would permit, was my strenuous endeavour. 
If his opinions contradicted mine. I immediately, without 
reasoning on the subject, conceded the point to him, as 
a matter of course that he must be right, and by conse- 
quence that I must be wrong. Did he utter a witticism, 
I was sure to laugh ; and if he looked grave, though 
nobody could tell why, it was mine to groan. By thus 
conforming myself to his humour, I flattered myself I 
was making some progress in his good graces, but I was 
soon undeceived. A man seldom cares much for that 
which cost him no pains to procure. Whether Ger- 
manicus found me a troublesome visitor, or whether he 
was really displeased with something I had unwittingly 
said or done, certain it is, that when I met him one day, 
in company with persons of apparent figure, he had lost 



342 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S BE MAINS. 

all recollection of my features. I called upon him, but 
Germanicus was not at home. Again and again I gave 
a hesitating knock at the great man's door — all was to 
no purpose. He was still not at home. The sly mean- 
ing, however, which was couched in the sneer of the 
servant the last time thai, half ashamed of my errand, 
I made my inquiries at his house, convinced me of what 
I ought to have known before — that Germanicus was at 
home to all the world save me. I believe, with all my 
seeming humility, I am a confounded proud fellow at 
bottom ; my rage at this discovery, therefore, may be 
better conceived than described. Ten thousand curses 
did I imprecate on the foolish vanity which led me to 
solicit the friendship of my superior, and again and again 
did I vow down eternal vengeance on my head, if I ever 
more condescended thus to court the acquaintance of 
man. To this resolution I believe I shall ever adhere. 
If I am destined to make any progress in the world, it 
will be by my own individual exertions. As I elbow 
my way through the crowded vale of life, I will never, 
in any emergency, call on my selfish neighbour for as- 
sistance. If my strength give way beneath the pressure 
of calamity, I shall sink without his whine of hypocriti- 
cal condolence, and if I do sink, let him kick me into a 
ditch and go about his business. I asked not his assistance 
while living — it will be of no service to me when dead. 
Believe me, reader, whoever thou may est be, there 
are few among mortals whose friendship, when acquired, 
will repay thee for the meanness of solicitation. If a 
man voluntarily holds out his hand to thee, take it with 
caution. If thou find him honest, be not backward to 
receive his proffered assistance, and be anxious, when 
occasion shall require, to yield to him thine own. A 
real friend is the most valuable blessing a man can 
possess, and, mark me, it is by far the most rare. It is 
a black swan. But, whatever thou mayest do, solicit 
not friendship. If thou art young, and would make thy 
w r ay in the world, bind thyself a seven years' apprentice- 
ship to a city tallow-chandler, and thou mayest in time 
come to be lord mayor. Many people have made their 



IV.] MELANCHOLY ROUES. 343 

fortunes at a tailor's board. Periwig makers have been 
known to buy their country seats, and bellows-menders 
have started their curricles ; but seldom, very seldom, has 
the man who placed his dependence on the friendship of 
his fellow-men arrived at even the shadow of the honour 
to which, through that medium, he aspired. Nay, even 
if thou shouldst find a friend ready to lend thee a help- 
ing hand, the moment, by his assistance, thou hast gained 
some little eminence, he will be the first to hurl thee down 
to thy primitive, and now, perhaps, irremediable obscu- 
rity. 

Yet I see no more reason for complaint on the ground 
of the fallacy of human friendship, than I do for any 
other ordinance of nature, which may ajipear to run 
counter to our happiness. Man is naturally a selfish 
creature, and it is only by the aid of philosophy that he 
can so far conquer the defects of his being as to be cap- 
able of disinterested friendship. Who, then, can expect 
to find that benign disposition which manifests itself in 
acts of disinterested benevolence and spontaneous affec- 
tion, a common visitor ? Who can preach philosophy to 
the mob ?* 

The recluse, who does not easily assimilate with the 
herd of mankind, and whose manners with difficulty bend 
to the peculiarities of others, is not likely to have many 
real friends. His enjoyments, therefore, must be soli- 
tary, lone, and melancholy. His only friend is himself. 
As he sits immersed in reverie by his midnight fire, and 
hears without the wild gusts of wind fitfully careering 
over the plain, he listens sadly attentive ; and as the 
varied intonations of the howling blast articulate to his 
enthusiastic ear, he converses with the spirits of the de- 
parted, while, between each dreary pause of the storm, 
he holds solitary communion with himself. Such is the 
social intercourse of the recluse ; yet he frequently feels 
the soft consolations of friendship. A heart formed for 

* By the word mob here, the author does not mean to include merely 
the lower classes. In the present acceptation, it takes in a great part 
of the mob of quality : men who are either too ignorant, or too much 
taken up with base and grovelling pursuits, to have room for any of 
the more amiable ait'eetions. 



344 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

the gentler emotions of the soul, often feels as strong an 
interest for what are called brutes, as most bipeds aifect 
to feel for each other. Montaigne had his cat ; I have 
read of a man whose only friend was a large spider ; and 
Trenck, in his dungeon, would sooner have lost his right 
hand, than the poor little mouse, which, grown confident 
with indulgence, used to beguile the tedious hours of im- 
prisonment with its gambols. For my own part, I believe 
my dog, who, at this moment, seated on his hinder legs, 
is wistfully surveying me, as if he was conscious of all 
that is passing in my mind : — my dog, I say, is as sin- 
cere, and, whatever the world may say, nearly as dear a 
friend as any I possess ; and, when I shall receive that 
summons which may not now be far distant, he will whine 
a funeral requiem over my grave, more piteously than all 
the hired mourners of Christendom. Well, well, poor 
Bob has had a kind master in me, and, for my own part, 
I verily believe there are few things on this earth I shall 
leave with more regret than this faithful companion of 
the happy hours of my infancy. W. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. V. 

ie Tin sonnet sans clejaut vaut seul un long pceme, 
Mais en vain milie auteurs y pensent arriver ; 
A peine * * * * 

* * peut-on admirer deux ou trois entre mille" 

BOILEAU. 

There is no species of poetry which is better adapted 
to the taste of a melancholy man than a sonnet. While 
its brevity precludes the possibility of its becoming tire- 
some, and its fall and expected close accords well with 
his dejected and perhaps somewhat languid tone of mind, 
its elegiac delicacy and querimonious plaintiveness come 
in pleasing consonance with his feelings. 

This elegant little poem has met with a peculiar fate 
in this country : half a century ago it was regarded as 



V.] MELANCHOLY HOURS- 345 

utterly repugnant to the nature of our language, while 
at present it is the popular vehicle of the most admired 
sentiments of our best living poets. This remarkable 
mutation in the opinions of our countrymen may, how- 
aver, be accounted for on plain and common principles. 
The earlier English sonuetteers confined themselves in 
general too strictly to the Italian model, as well in the 
disposition of the rhymes as in the cast of the ideas. A 
sonnet with them was only another word for some meta- 
physical conceit, or clumsy antithesis, contained in four- 
teen harsh lines, full of obscure inversions and ill-man- 
aged expletives. They bound themselves down to a pat- 
tern which was in itself faulty, and they met with the com- 
mon fate of servile imitators in retaining all the defects 
of their original, while thy suffered the beauties to escape 
in the process. Their sonnets are like copies of a bad 
picture : however accurately copied, they are still bad. 
Our contemporaries, on the contrary, have given scope to 
ii genius in the sonnet without restraint, sometimes 
even growing licentious in their liberty, setting at defi- 
ance those rules which form its distinguishing peculiarity, 
and, under the name of sonnet, soaring or falling into 
.r elegy. Their compositions, of course, are im- 
pressed with all these excellences which would have 
marked their respective productions in any similar walk 
of poetry. 

It has never been disputed that the sonnet first arrived 
at celebrity in the Italian : a language which, as it 
abounds in a musical similarity of terminations, is more 
eminently qualified to give ease and elegance to the 
legitimate sonnet, restricted as it is to stated and fre- 
/.tly-recurring rhymes of the same class. As to the 
inventors of this little structure of verse, they are in- 
volved in impenetrable obscurity. Some authors have 
[ ascril sjly to Guitone D'Arezzo, an Italian poet 

of the thirteenth century ; but they have no sort of au- 
thority to adduce in support of their assertions. Ar- 
guing upon probabilities, with some slight coinciden- 
tal corroborations, I should be inclined to maintain that 
its origin may be referred to an earlier period ; t. 



346 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

may be looked for amongst the Provencals, who left 
scarcely any combination of metrical sounds unattempted ; 
and who, delighting as they did in sound and jingle, 
might very possibly strike out this harmonious stanza 
of fourteen lines. Be this as it may, Dante and Petrarch 
were the first poets who rendered it popular, and to 
Dante and Petrarch, therefore, we must resort for its re- 
quired rules. 

In an ingenious paper of Dr Drake's " Literary 
Hours," a book which I have read again and again with 
undiminished pleasure, the merits of the various English 
writers in this delicate mode of composition are appre- 
ciated with much justice and discrimination. His vene- 
ration for Milton, however, has, if I may venture to oppose 
my judgment to his, carried him too far in praise of his 
sonnets. Those to the Nightingale and to Mr Lawrence 
are, I think, alone entitled to the praise of mediocrity, 
and, if my memory fail me not, my opinion is sanctioned 
by the testimony of our late illustrious biographer of the 
poets. 

The sonnets of Drummond are characterized as exqui- 
site. It is somewhat strange, if this description be just, 
that they should so long have sunk into utter oblivion, to 
be revived only by a species of black-letter mania, which 
prevailed during the latter half of the eighteenth century, 
and of which some vestiges yet remain ; the more espe- 
cially as Dr Johnson, to whom they could scarcely be un- 
known, tells us, that " The fabric of the sonnet has never 
succeeded in our language." For my own part, I can say 
nothing of them. I have long sought a copy of Drum- 
mond's works, and I have sought it in vain ; but from spe- 
cimens which I have casually met with, in quotations, I 
am forcibly inclined to favour the idea, that, as they pos- 
sess natural and pathetic sentiments, clothed in tolerably 
harmonious language, they are entitled to the praise which 
has been so liberally bestowed on them. 

Sir Philip Sidney's " Astrophel and Stella" consists 
of a number of sonnets, which have been unaccountably 
passed over by Dr Drake and all our other critics who 
have written on this subject. Many of them are emi- 



V.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 347 

nently beautiful. The works of this neglected poet may 
occupy a future number of my lucubrations. 

Excepting these two poets, I believe there is scarcely 
a writer who has arrived at any degree of excellence in 
the sonnet, until of late years, when our vernacular bards 
have raised it to a degree of eminence and dignity, 
among the various kinds of poetical composition, which 
seems almost incompatible with its very circumscribed 
limits. 

Passing over the classical compositions of Warton, 
which are formed more on the model of the Greek epi- 
gram, or epitaph, than the Italian sonnet, Mr Bowles and 
Charlotte Smith are the first modern writers who have 
met with distinguished success in the sonnet. Those 
of the former, in particular, are standards of excellence 
in this department. To much natural and accurate de- 
scription, they unite a strain of the most exquisitely ten- 
der and delicate sentiment ; and with a nervous strength 
of diction and a wild freedom of versification, they com- 
bine an euphonious melody and consonant cadence un- 
equalled in the English language. While they possess, 
however, the superior merit of an original style, they are 
not unfrequently deformed by instances of that ambitious 
singularity which is but too frequently its concomitant. 
Of these the introduction of rhymes long since obsolete is 
not the least striking. Though, in some cases, these re- 
vivals of antiquated phrase have a pleasing effect, yet they 
are oftentimes uncouth and repulsive. Mr Bowles has al- 
most always thrown aside the common rules of the son- 
net ; his pieces have no more claim to that specific deno- 
mination than that they are confined to fourteen lines. 
How far this deviation from established principle is jus- 
tifiable may be disputed ; for if, on the one hand, it be 
alleged that the confinement to the stated repetition of 
rhymes, so distant and frequent, is a restraint which is not 
compensated by an adequate effect ; on the other, it must 
be conceded, that these little poems are no longer sonnets 
than while they conform to the rules of the sonnet, and 
that the moment they forsake them they ought to resign 
the appellation. 



348 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

The name bears evident affinity to the Italian sondir e, 
" to resound," — " sing around" which originated in 
the Latin sonans, — sounding, jingling, ringing : or, in- 
deed, it may come immediately from the French sonner, 
to sound, or ring ; in which language, it is observable, 
we first meet with the word sonnette, where it signifies 
a little bell, and sonnettier a maker of little bells ; and 
this derivation affords a presumption, almost amounting 
to certainty, that the conjecture before advanced, that the 
sonnet originated with the Provencals, is well founded. 
It is somewhat strange that these contending derivations 
have not been before observed, as they tend to settle a 
question which, however intrinsically unimportant, is cu- 
rious, and has been much agitated. 

But, wherever the name originated, it evidently bears 
relation only to the peculiarity of a set of chiming and 
jingling terminations, and of course can no longer be 
applied with propriety where that peculiarity is not pre- 
served. 

The single stanza of fourteen lines, properly varied in 
their correspondent closes, is, notwithstanding, so well 
adapted for the expression of any pathetic sentiment, 
and is so pleasing and satisfactory to the ear, when once 
accustomed to it, that our poetry would suffer a material 
loss were it to be disused through a rigid adherence to 
mere propriety of name. At the same time, our lan- 
guage does not supply a sufficiency of similar termina- 
tions to render the strict observance of its rules at all 
easy or compatible with ease or elegance. The only 
question, therefore, is, whether the musical effect pro- 
duced by the adherence to this difficult structure of verse 
overbalance the restraint it imposes on the poet, and in 
case we decide in the negative, whether we ought to 
preserve the denomination of sonnet f when we utterly 
renounce the very peculiarities which procured it that 
cognomen. 

In the present enlightened age, I think it will not be 
disputed that mere jingle and sound ought invariably to 
be sacrificed to sentiment and expression. Musical effect 
is a very subordinate consideration ; it is the gilding to 



V.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 349 

the cornices of a Vitruvian edifice ; the colouring to a 
shaded design of Michael Angelo. In its place it adds 
to the effect of the whole, but when rendered a prin- 
cipal object of attention it is ridiculous and disgusting. 
Rhyme is no necessary adjunct of true poetry. Southey's 
" Thalaba" is a fine poem, with no rhyme and very lit- 
tle measure or metre; and the production which is reduced 
to mere prose by being deprived of its jingle, could never 
possess, in any state, the marks of inspiration. 

So far, therefore, I am of opinion that it is advisable 
to renounce the Italian fabric altogether. We have al- 
ready sufficient restrictions laid upon us by the metrical 
laws of our native tongue, and I do not see any reason, 
out of a blind regard for precedent, to tie ourselves to a 
difficult structure of verse, which probably originated with 
the Troubadours, or wandering bards of France and Nor- 
mandy, or with a yet ruder race ; one which is not pro- 
ductive of any rational effect, and which only pleases the 
ear by frequent repetition, as men who have once had the 
greatest aversion to strong wines and spirituous liquors, 
are, by habit, at last brought to regard them as delicacies. 

In advancing this opinion, I am aware that I am op- 
posing myself to the declared sentiments of many in- 
dividuals whom I greatly respect and admire. Miss 
Seward (and Miss Seward is in herself a host) has, both 
theoretically and practically, defended the Italian struc- 
ture. Mr Capel Lofft has likewise favoured the world 
with many sonnets, in which he shows his approval of 
the legitimate model by his adherence to its rules, and 
many of the beautiful poems of Mrs Lofft, published in 
the "Monthly Mirror," are likewise successfully formed 
by those rules. Much, however, as I admire these wri- 
ters, and ample as is the credence I give to their critical 
discrimination, I cannot, on mature reflection, subscribe 
to their position of the expediency of adopting this struc- 
ture in our poetry, and I attribute their success in it more 
to their individual powers, which would have surmount- 
ed much greater difficulties, than to the adaptability of 
this foreign fabric to our stubborn and intractable lan- 
guage. 



I 



350 HENRY KIRKE "WHITE S REMAINS. 

If the question, however, turn only on the propriety of 
giving to a poem a name which must be acknowledged to 
be entirely inappropriate, and to which it can have no 
sort of claim, I must confess that it is manifestly inde- 
fensible ; and we must then either pitch upon another ap- 
pellation for our quatorzain, or banish it from our lan- 
guage ; a measure which every lover of true poetry must 
sincerely lament. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. VI. 

" Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air." 

Gray. 

Poetry is a blossom of very delicate growth ; it requires 
the maturing influence of vernal suns, and every en- 
couragement of culture and attention, to bring it to its 
natural perfection. The pursuits of the mathematician 
or the mechanical genius, are such as require rather 
strength and insensibility of mind than that exquisite 
and finely wrought susceptibility, which invariably marks 
the temperament of the true poet ; and it is for this 
reason, that while men of science have, not unfrequently, 
arisen from the abodes of poverty and labour, very few 
legitimate children of the Muse have ever emerged from 
the shades of hereditary obscurity. 

It is painful to reflect how many a bard now lies, 
nameless and forgotten, in the narrow house, who, had 
he been born to competence and leisure, might have 
usurped the laurels from the most distinguished person- 
ages in the temple of Fame. The very consciousness of 
merit itself often acts in direct opposition to a stimulus 
to exertion, by exciting that mournful indignation at 
supposititious neglect which urges a sullen concealment 
of talents, and drives its possessors to that misanthropic 



VI ] MELANCHOLY HOUES. 351 

discontent which preys on the vitals, and soon produces 
untimely mortality. A sentiment like this has, no 
doubt, often actuated beings who attracted notice, per- 
haps, while they lived, only by their singularity, and 
who were forgotten almost ere their parent earth had 
closed over their heads — beings who lived but to mourn 
and to languish for what they were never destined to 
enjoy, and whose exalted endowments were buried with 
them in their graves, by the want of a little of that 
superfluity which serves to pamper the debased appetites 
of the enervated sons of luxury and sloth. 

The present age, however, has furnished us with two 
illustrious instances of poverty bursting through the cloud 
of surrounding impediments, into the full blaze of no- 
toriety and eminence. I allude to the two Bloomfields 
— bards who may challenge a comparison with the most 
distinguished favourites of the Muse, and who both 
passed the day-spring of life in labour, indigence, and 
obscurity. 

The author of the " Farmer's Boy" hath already re- 
ceived the applause he justly deserved. It yet remains 
for the " Essay on War" to enjoy all the distinction it 
so richly merits, as well from its sterling worth, as from 
the circumstances of its author. Whether the present 
age will be inclined to do it full justice, may indeed be 
feared. Had Mr Nathaniel Bloomfield made his appear- 
ance in the horizon of letters prior to his brother, he 
would undoubtedly have been considered as a meteor of 
uncommon attraction ; the critics would have admired, 
because it would have been the fashion to admire. But 
it is to be apprehended that our countrymen become 
inured to phenomena : — it is to be apprehended that the 
frivolity of the age cannot endure a repetition of the un- 
common — that it will no longer be the rage to patronize 
indigent merit — that the beau monde will therefore 
neglect, and that, by a necessary consequence, the critics 
will sneer ! 

Nevertheless, sooner or later, merit will meet with its 
reward ; and though the popularity of Mr Bloomfield 
may be delayed, he must, at one time or other, receive 



352 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

the meed due to his deserts. Posterity will judge im- 
partially : and if bold and vivid images, and original 
conceptions, luminously displayed and judiciously op- 
posed, have any claim to the regard of mankind, the 
name of Nathaniel Bloomfield will not be without its 
high and appropriate honours. 

Rousseau very truly observes, that with whatever talent 
a man may be born, the art of writing is not easily ob- 
tained. If this be applicable to men enjoying every ad- 
vantage of scholastic initiation, how much more forcibly 
must it apply to the offspring of a poor village tailor, 
untaught, and destitute both of the means and the time 
necessary for the cultivation of the mind ! If the art of 
writing be of difficult attainment to those who make it 
the study of their lives, what must it be to him, who, 
perhaps for the -first forty years of his life, never enter- 
tained a thought that anything he could write would be 
deemed worthy of the attention of the public ! — whose 
only time for rumination was such as a sedentary and 
sickly employment would allow; on the tailors board, 
surrounded with men, perhaps, of depraved and rude 
habits, and impure conversation. 

And yet, that Mr N. Bloomfield's poems display acute- 
ness of remark and delicacy of sentiment, combined with 
much strength and considerable selection of diction, few 
will deny. The " Paean to Gunpowder" would alone 
prove both his power of language, and the fertility of his 
imagination ; and the following extract presents him to 
us in the still higher character of a bold and vivid painter. 
Describing the field after a battle, he says — 

(( Now here and there, about the horrid field, 
Striding across the dying and the dead, 
Stalks up a man, by strength superior, 
Or skill and prowess in the arduous fight, 
Preserved alive : fainting he looks around ; 
Fearing pursuit — not caring to pursue. 
The supplicating voice of bitterest moans, 
Contortions of excruciating pain, 
The shriek of torture, and the groan of death, 
Surround him ; and as Night her mantle spreads, 
To veil the horrors of the mourning field, 
"With cautious step shaping his devious way, 



VI.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 353 

He seeks a covert where to hide and rest : 
At every leaf that rustles in the breeze 
Starting, lie grasps his sword ; and every nerve- 
Is ready strain'd, for combat or for flight." 

P. 12, Essay on War. 

If Mr Bloomfield had written nothing besides the 
" Elegy on the Enclosure of Honington Green," he would 
have had a right to be considered as a poet of no mean 
excellence. The heart which can read passages like the 
following without a sympathetic emotion must be dead 
to every feeling of sensibility. 

STANZA VT. 

" The proud city's gay wealthy train, 

^Vho nought but refinement adore. 
May wonder to hear me complain 

That Honington Green is no more ; 
But if to the church you ere went, 

If you knew what the village has been, 
You will sympathize while I lament 

The enclosure of Honington Green. 

VII. 
" That no more upon Honington Green 
Dwells the matron whom most I revere, 
If by pert observation unseen, 

I e'en now could indulge a fond tear. 
Ere her bright morn of life was o'ercast, 

"When my senses first woke to the scene r 
Some short happy hours she had past 
On the margin of Honington Green. 



* Her parents with plenty were blest, 

And numerous her children, and young, 
Youth's blossoms her cheek yet possest, 

And melody woke when she sung : 
A widow so youthful to leave 

(Early closed the- blest days he had seen), 
My father was laid in his grave, 

In the churchyard on Honington Green. 



XXI. 

u Dear to me was the wild thorny hill, 

And dear the brown heath's sober scene ; 
And youth shall find happiness still, 

Though he rove not on common or green. 



354 HENRY KIRKE WHITES REMAINS. 

XXII. 

" So happily flexile man's make, 

So pliantly docile his mind, 
Surrounding impressions we take, 

And bliss in each circumstance find. 
The 3 r ouths of a more polished age 

Shall not wish these rude commons to sec ; 
To the bird that's enured to the cage, 

It would not be bliss to be free." 

There is a sweet and tender melancholy pervades the 
elegiac ballad efforts of Mr Bloomfieid, which has the 
most indescribable effects on the heart. Were the ver 
sifi cation a little more polished, in some instances they 
would be read with unmixt delight. It is to be hoped 
that he will cultivate this engaging species of composi- 
tion, and (if I may venture to throw out the hint) if 
judgment may be formed from the poems he has pub- 
lished, he would excel in sacred poetry. Most heartily 
do I recommend the lyre of David to this engaging bard. 
Divine topics have seldom been touched upon with suc- 
cess by our modern Muses ; they afford a field in which 
he would have few competitors, and it is a field worthy 
of his abilities. W. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. VIL* 

If the situation of man, in the present life, be consider- 
ed in all its relations and dependencies, a striking incon- 
sistency will be apparent to every cursory observer. 
We have sure warrant for believing that our abode here 
is to form a comparatively insignificant part of our ex- 
istence, and that on our conduct in this life will depend 
the happiness of the life to come ; yet our actions daily 
give the lie to this proposition, inasmuch as we com- 
monly act like men who have no thought but for the 

* My predecessor, the " Spectator," considering that the seventh 
part, of onr time is set apart for religious purposes, devoted every 
seventh lucubration to matters connected with Christianity and the 
severer part of morals: I trust none of my readers will regret that, 
in this instance, I follow so good an example. 



VII.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 355 

present scene, and to whom the grave is the boundary 
of anticipation. But this is not the only parados which 
humanity furnishes to the eye of a thinking man. It is 
very generally the case, that we spend our whole lives in 
the pursuit of objects, which common experience informs 
us are not capable of conferring that pleasure and satis- 
faction which we expect from their enjoyment. Our 
views are uniformly directed to one point — happiness, 
in whatever garb it be clad, and under whatever figure 
shadowed, is the great aim of the busy multitudes whom 
we behold toiling through the vale of life in such an in- 
finite diversity of occupation and disparity of views. 
But the misfortune is, that we seek for happiness where 
she is not to be found, and the cause of wonder, that the 
experience of ages should not have guarded us against so 
fatal and so universal an error. 

It would be an amusing speculation to consider the 
various points after which our fellow mortals are inces- 
santly straining, and in the possession of which they have 
placed that imaginary chief good, which we are all 
doomed to covet, but which, perhaps, none of us, in this 
sublunary state, can attain. At present, however, we 
are led to considerations of a more important nature. 
We turn from the inconsistencies observable in the pro- 
secution of our subordinate pursuits, from the partial 
follies of individuals, to the general delusion which 
seems to develop the whole human race — the delusion 
under whose influence they lose sight of the chief end of 
their being — and cut down the sphere of their hopes and 
enjoyments to a few rolling years, and that too in a scene 
where they know there is neither perfect fruition nor 
permanent delight. 

The faculty of contemplating mankind in the abstract, 
apart from those prepossessions which, both by nature 
and the power of habitual associations, would intervene 
to cloud our view, is only to be obtained by a life of 
virtue and constant meditation, by temperance, and 
purity of thought. Whenever it is attained, it must 
greatly tend to correct our motives, to simplify our de- 
sires, and to excite a spirit of contentment and pious 



356 HENRY KIRKE WHITENS REMAINS. 

resignation. We then, at length, are enabled to con- 
template our being in all its bearings and in its full ex- 
tent, and the result is that superiority to common views 
and indifference to the things of this life which should 
be the fruit of all true philosophy, and which, therefore, 
are the more peculiar fruits of that system of philosophy 
which is called the Christian. 

To a mind thus sublimed, the great mass of mankind 
will appear like men led astray by the workings of wild 
and distempered imaginations — visionaries who are wan- 
dering after the phantoms of their own teeming brains, 
and their anxious solicitude for mere matters of worldly 
accommodation and ease will seem more like the effects 
of insanity than of prudent foresight, as they are es- 
teemed. To the awful importance of futurity he will 
observe them utterly insensible, and he will see, with 
astonishment, the few allotted years of human life wasted 
in providing abundance they will never enjoy, while the 
eternity they are placed here to prepare for scarcely em- 
ploys a moment's consideration. And yet the mass of 
these poor wanderers in the ways of error have the light 
of truth shining on their very foreheads. They have 
the revelation of Almighty God himself, to declare to 
them the folly of worldly cares, and the necessity for 
providing for a future state of existence. They know 
by the experience of every preceding generation, that a i 
very small portion of joy is allowed to the poor sojourners 
in this vale of tears, and that, too, embittered with much 
pain and fear ; and yet every one is willing to flatter I 
himself that he shall fare better than his predecessor in 
the same path, and that happiness will smile on him 
which hath frowned on all his progenitors. 

Still, it would be wrong to deny the human race all 
claim to temporal felicity. There may be comparative, 
although very little positive happiness; — whoever is 
more exempt from the cares of the world and the cala- 
mities incident to humanity — whoever enjoys more con- 
tentment of mind, and is more resigned to the dispensa- 
tions of Divine Providence — in a word, whoever pns- | 
sesses more of the true spirit of Christianity than his ; 



VII.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 357 

neighbours, is comparatively happy. Bat the number 
of these, it is to be feared, is very small. Were all men 
equally enlightened by the illuminations of truth, as em- 
anating from the Spirit of Jehovah himself, they would 
all concur in the pursuit of virtuous ends by virtuous 
means — as there would be no vice, there would be very 
little infelicity. Every pain would be met with fortitude, 
every affliction with resignation. We should then all 
look back to the past with complacency, and to the future 
with hope. Even this unstable state of being would have 
many exquisite enjoyments — the principal of which would 
be the anticipation of that approaching state of beatitude 
to which we might then look with confidence, through 
the medium of that atonement of which we should be 
partakers, and our acceptance, by virtue of which, would 
be sealed by that purity of mind of which human nature 
is, of itself, incapable. But it is from the mistakes and 
miscalculations of mankind to which their fallen natures 
are continually prone, that arises that flood of misery 
which overwhelms the whole race, and resounds wherever 
the footsteps of man have penetrated. It is the lamen- 
table error of placing happiness in vicious indulgences, 
or thinking to pursue it by vicious means. It is the 
blind folly of sacrificing the welfare of the future to the 
opportunity of immediate guilty gratification which de- 
stroys the harmony of society, and poisons the peace not 
only of the immediate procreators of the errors, not only 
of the identical actors of the vices themselves, but of all 
those of their fellows who fall within the reach of their 
influence and example, or who are in any wise connected 
with them by the ties of blood. 

I would therefore exhort you earnestly — you who are 
yet unskilled in the ways of the world — to beware on 
what object you concentre your hopes. Pleasures may 
allure, pride or ambition may stimulate, but their fruits 
are hollow and deceitful, and they afford no sure, no 
solid satisfaction. You are placed on the earth in a state 
of probation ; your continuance here will be, at the 
longest, a very short period ; and when you are called 
from hence you plunge into an eternity, the completion 



358 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

of which will be in correspondence to your past life, un- 
utterably happy, or inconceivably miserable. Your fate 
will probably depend on your early pursuits — it will be 
these which will give the turn to your character and to 
your pleasures. I beseech you, therefore, with a meek 
and lowly spirit, to read the pages of that book which 
the wisest and best of men have acknowledged to be the 
Word of God. You will there find a rule of moral con- 
duct, such as the world never had any idea of before its 
divulgation. If you covet earthly happiness, it is only 
to be found in the path } t ou will find there laid down, and 
I can confidently promise you, in a life of simplicity and 
purity, a life passed in accordance with the divine word, 
such substantial bliss, such unruffled peace, as is nowhere 
else to be found. All other schemes of earthly pleasure 
are fleeting and unsatisfactory. They all entail upon 
them repentance and bitterness of thought. This alone 
endureth for ever — this alone embraces equally the pre- 
sent and the future — this alone can arm a man against 
every calamity — can alone shed the balm of peace over 
that scene of life when pleasures have lost their zest ; and 
the mind can no longer look forward to the dark and 
mysterious future. Above all, beware of the ignis fatuus 
of false philosophy : that must be a very defective system 
of ethics which will not bear a man through the most 
trying stage of his existence, and I know of none that 
will do it but the Christian. 

w. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS,— No. VIII. 

"Gong "hoygvg yap iruQce.x.UTe&vixYiv ag T^ccQuu 
'E^s/ WSJf, oEhix.6g kvTtV, 7} a»£#T9?£ ctyctu. 
hag Bs y statu upc(pors^ot xoiKOi. 

Anaxandrides apud Suidam. 

Much has been said of late on the subject of inscriptive 
writing, and that, in my opinion, to very little purpose. 



VIII.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 359 

Dr Drake, when treating on this topic, is, for once, in- 
conclusive ; but his essay does credit to his discernment, 
however little it may honour him as a promulgator of the 
laws of criticism : the exquisite specimens it contains 
prove that the Doctor has a feeling of propriety and gene- 
ral excellence, although he may he unhappy in defining 
them. Boileau says, briefly, " Les inscriptions doivent 
etre simples, courtes, etfamiliires" We have, however, 
many examples of this kind of writing in our language, 
which, although they possess none of these qualities, are 
esteemed excellent. Akenside's classic imitations are not 
at all simple, nothing short, and the very reverse of fa- 
miliar, yet who can deny that they are beautiful, and in 
some instances appropriate ? Southey's inscriptions are 
noble pieces ; — for the opposite qualities of tenderness 
and dignity, sweetness of imagery and terseness of moral, 
unrivalled ; they are perhaps wanting in propriety, and 
(which is the criterion) produce a much better effect in a 
book than they would on a column or a cenotaph. There 
is a certain chaste and majestic gravity expected from 
the voice of tombs and monuments, which probably would 
displease in epitaphs never intended to be engraved, and 
inscriptions for obelisks which never existed. 

When a man visits the tomb of an illustrious character, 
a spot remarkable for some memorable deed, or a scene 
connected by its natural sublimity with the higher feel- 
ings of the breast, he is in a mood only for the nervous, 
the concise, and the impressive ; and he will turn with 
disgust alike from the puerile conceits of the epigram- 
matist and the tedious prolixity of the herald. It is a 
nice thing to address the mind in the workings of gene- 
rous enthusiasm. As words are not capable of exciting 
such an effervescence of the sublimer affections, so they 
can do little towards increasing it. Their office is rather 
to point these feelings to a beneficial purpose, and by 
some noble sentiment, or exalted moral, to impart to the 
mind that pleasure which results from warm emotions 
when connected with the virtuous and the generous. 

In the composition of inscriptive pieces, great atten- 
tion must be paid to local and topical propriety. The 



360 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

occasion and the place must not only regulate the tenor, 
but even the style of an inscription : for what in one 
case would be proper and agreeable, in another would 
be impertinent and disgusting. But these rules may 
always be taken for granted, that an inscription should 
be unaffected and free from conceits ; that no sentiment 
should be introduced of a trite or hackneyed nature ; and 
that the design and the moral to be inculcated should be 
of sufficient importance to merit the reader's attention, 
and insure his regard. Who would think of setting a 
stone np in the wilderness to tell the traveller what he 
knew before, or what, when lie had learnt for the first 
time, was not worth the knowing ? It would be equally 
absurd to call aside his attention to a simile or an epi- 
grammatic point. Wit on a monument is like a jest 
from a judge, or a philosopher cutting capers. It is a se- 
vere mortification to meet with flippancy where we looked 
for solemnity, and meretricious elegance where the occa- 
sion led us to expect the unadorned majesty of truth. 

That branch of inscriptive writing which commemo- 
rates the virtues of departed worth, or points out the ashes 
of men who yet live in the admiration of their posterity 
is, of all others, the most interesting, and, if properly 
managed, the most useful. 

It is not enough to proclaim to the observer that he is 
drawing near to the reliques of the deceased genius, — 
the occasion seems to provoke a few reflections. If these 
be natural, they will be in unison with the feelings of 
the reader, and, if they tend where they ought to tend, 
they will leave him better than they found him. But 
these reflections must not be too much prolonged. They 
must rather be hints than dissertations. It is sufficient 
to start the idea, and the imagination of the reader will 
pursue the train to much more advantage than the writer 
could do by words. 

Panegyric is seldom judicious in the epitaphs on public 
characters ; for if it be deserved it cannot need publica- 
tion, and if it be exaggerated it will only serve to excite 
ridicule. When employed in memorizing the retired 
virtues of domestic life, and qualities which, though they 



VIIT.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 3G1 

only served to cheer the little circle of privacy, still de- 
served, from their unfrequency, to triumph, at least for 
a while, over the power of the grave, it may be interest- 
ing and salutary in its effects. To this purpose, however, 
it is rarely employed. An epitaph-book will seldom 
supply the exigencies of character ; and men of talents 
are not always, even in these favoured times, at hand to 
eternize the virtues of private life. 

The following epitaph, by Mr Hay ley, is inscribed on 
a monument to the memory of Cowper, in the church of 
East Dereham : 

" Ye, who with warmth the public triumph feel 
Of talents dignified by sacred zeal ; 
Here to devotion's bard devoutly just, 
Pay your fond tribute due to Cowper's dust. 
England, exulting in his spotless fame, 
Ranks with her dearest sons his fav'rite name : 
Sense, Fancy, Wit, conspire not all to raise 
So clear a title to affection's praise ; 
His highest honours to the heart belong ; 
His virtues formed the magic of his song." 

" This epitaph/' says a periodical critic,* " is simply 
elegant and appropriately just." I regard this sentence 
as peculiarly unfortunate, for the epitaph seems to me to 
be elegant without simplicity and just without propriety. 
No one will deny that it is correctly written, and that it 
is not destitute of grace ; but in what consists its simpli- 
city I am at a loss to imagine. The initial address is 
laboured and circumlocutory. There is something arti- 
ficial rather than otherwise in the personification of Eng- 
land, and her ranking the poet's name " with her clearest 
sons," instead of with those of her dearest sons, is like 
ranking poor John Doe with a proper bona fide son of 
Adam, in a writ of arrest. Sense, fancy, and wit, " rais- 
ing a title," and that to " affection's praise," is not very 
simple, and not over intelligible. Again the epitaph is 
just because it is strictly true ; but it is by no means, 
therefore, appropriate. Who that would turn aside to 
visit the ashes of Cowper, would need to be told that 

* The " Monthly Reviewer." 



362 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

England ranks him with her favourite sons, and that 
sense, fancy, and wit were not his greatest honours, for 
that his virtues formed the magic of his song ; or who, 
hearing this, would be the better for the information ? 
Had Mr Hayley been employed in the monumental 
praises of a private man, this might have been excusable, 
but speaking of such a man as Cowper, it is idle. This 
epitaph is not appropriate, therefore, and we have shown 
that it is not remarkable for simplicity. Perhaps the re- 
spectable critics themselves may not feel inclined to dis- 
pute this point very tenaciously. Epithets are very con- 
venient little things for rounding off a period ; and it 
will not be the first time that truth has been sacrificed 
to verbosity and antithesis. 

To measure lances with Hayley may be esteemed pre- 
sumptuous ; but probably the following, although much 
inferior as a composition, would have had more effect than 
his polished and harmonious lines : — 

INSCRIPTION FOR A MONUMENT TO THE MEMORY 
OF COWPER. 

Header ! if with no vulgar sympathy 

Thou view'st the wreck of genius and of worth, 

Stay thou thy footsteps near this hallowed spot. 

Here Cowper rests. Although renown have made 

His name familiar to thine ear, this stone 

May tell thee that his virtues were above 

The common portion : — that the voice, now hush'd 

In death, was once serenely querulous 

With pity's tones, and in the ear of woe 

Spake music. Now forgetful at thy feet 

His tired head presses on its last long rest, 

Still tenant of the tomb ; — and on the cheek 

Once warm with animation's lambent flush, 

Sits the pale image of unmark'd decay. 

Yet mourn not. He had chosen the better part ; 

And these sad garments of mortality 

Put off, we trust, that to a happier land 

He went a light and gladsome passenger. 

Sigh'st thou for honours, reader ? Call to mind 



IX.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 363 

That glory's voice is impotent to pierce 
The silence of the tomb ! but virtue blooms 
Even on the wrecks of life, and mounts the skies ! 
So gird thy loins with lowliness, and walk 
With Cowper on the pilgrimage of Christ. 

This inscription is faulty from its length, but if a 
painter cannot get the requisite effect at one stroke, he 
must do it by many. The laconic style of epitaphs is the 
most difficult to be managed of any, inasmuch as most is 
expected from it. A sentence standing alone on a tomb 
or a monument, is expected to contain something parti- 
cularly striking ; and when this expectation is disap- 
pointed, the reader feels like a man who, having been 
promised an excellent joke, is treated with a stale conceit 
or a vapid pun. The best specimen of this kind, which 
I am acquainted with, is that on a French general : 

" Siste, Viator; Htroem calcas /" 

Stop, traveller ; thou treadest on a hero / 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. IX. 

" Scires e sanguine natos.'' 

Ovid. 

It is common for busy and active men to behold the 
occupations of the retired and contemplative person with 
contempt. They consider his speculations as idle and 
unproductive : as they participate in none of his feelings, 
they are strangers to his motives, his views, and his de- 
lights : they behold him elaborately employed on what 
they conceive forwards none of the interests of life, con- 
tributes to none of its gratifications, removes none of its 
inconveniences : they conclude, therefore, that he is led 
away by the delusions of futile philosophy, that he la- 
bours for no good, and lives to no end. Of the various 
frames of mind which they observe in him, no one seems 
to predominate more, and none appears to them more ab- 
surd than sadness, which seems, in some degree, to per- 



364 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

vade all his views, and shed a solemn tinge over all his 
thoughts. Sadness, arising from no personal grief, and 
connected with no individual concern, they regard as 
moon-struck melancholy, the effect of a mind overcast 
with constitutional gloom, and diseased with habits of 
vain and fanciful speculation. " AYe can share with the 
sorrows of the unfortunate," say they, " but this mon- 
astic spleen merits only our derision : it tends to no bene- 
ficial purpose, it benefits neither its possessor nor society.' , 
Those who have thought a little more on this subject than 
the gay and busy crowd will draw conclusions of a differ- 
ent nature. That there is a sadness, springing from the 
noblest and purest sources, a sadness friendly to the hu- 
man heart, and, by direct consequence, to human nature 
in general, is a truth which a little illustration will render 
tolerably clear, and which, when understood in its full 
force, may probably convert contempt and ridicule into 
respect. 

I set out then with the proposition, that the man who 
thinks deeply, especially if his reading be extensive, will, 
unless his heart be very cold and very light, become ha- 
bituated to a pensive, or, with more propriety, a mournful 
cast of thought. This will arise from two more particular 
sources — from the view of human nature in general, as 
demonstrated by the experience both of past and present 
times, and from the contemplation of individual instances 
of human depravity and of human suffering. The first 
of these is, indeed, the last in the order of time, for his 
general views of humanity are in a manner consequential, 
or resulting from the special, but I have inverted that 
order for the sake of perspicuity. 

Of those who have occasionally thought on these sub- 
jects, I may with perfect assurance of their reply, inquire 
what have been their sensations when they have, for a 
moment, attained a more enlarged and capacious notion 
of the state of man in all its bearing and dependencies ? 
They have found, and the profoundest philosophers have 
done no more, that they are enveloped in mystery, and 
that the mystery of man's situation is not without alarm- 
ing and fearful circumstances. They have discovered 



IX.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 365 

that all they know of themselves is that they live, but 
that from whence they came, or whither they are going, 
is by Nature altogether hidden : that impenetrable gloom 
surrounds them on every side, and that they even hold 
their morrow on the credit of to-day, when it is, in fact 
buried in the vague and indistinct gulf of the ages to 
come ! These are reflections deeply interesting, and 
lead to others so awful, that many gladly shut their eyes 
on the giddy and unfathomable depths which seem to 
stretch before them. The meditative man, however, en- 
deavours to pursue them to the farthest stretch of the 
reasoning powers, and to enlarge his conceptions of the 
mysteries of his own existence ; and the more he learns, 
and the deeper he penetrates, the more cause does he 
find for being serious, and the more inducements to be 
continually thoughtful. 

If, again, we turn from the condition of mortal exist- 
ence, considered in the abstract, to the qualities and 
characters of man, and his condition in a state of society, 
we see things perhaps equally strange and infinitely 
more affecting. In the economy of creation, we perceive 
nothing inconsistent with the power of an all-wise and 
all-merciful God. A perfect harmony runs through all 
the parts of the universe. Plato's syrens sing not only 
from the planetary octave, but through all the minutest 
divisions of the stupendous whole: order, beauty, and per- 
fection, the traces of the great Architect, glow through 
every particle of his work. At man, however, we stop : 
there is one exception. The harmony of order ceases, 
and vice and misery disturb the beautiful consistency of 
creation, and bring us first acquainted with positive evil. 
We behold men carried irresistibly away by corrupt 
principles and vicious inclinations, indulging in propen- 
sities destructive as well to themselves as to those around 
them ; the stronger oppressing the weaker, and the bad 
persecuting the good ! we see the depraved in prosperity, 
the virtuous in adversity, the guilty unpunished, the un- 
deserving overwhelmed with unprovoked misfortunes. 
From hence we are tempted to think, that He whose 
arm holds the planets in their course, and directs the 



3G6 



HENRY KIEKE WHITES REMAINS. 



comets along their eccentric orbits, ceases to exercise his 
providence over the affairs of mankind, and leaves them 
to be governed and directed by the impulses of a corrupt 
heart, or the blind workings of chance alone. Yet this 
is inconsistent both with the wisdom and goodness of the 
Deity. If God permit evil, he causes it : the difference 
is casuistical. We are led, therefore, to conclude, that 
it was not always thus : that man was created in a far 
different and far happier condition ; but that by some 
means or other, he has forfeited the protection of his 
Maker. Here then is a mystery. The ancients, led by 
reasonings alone, perceived it with amazement, but did 
not solve the problem. They attempted some explana- 
tion of it by the lame fiction of a golden age and its 
cession, where, by a circular mode of reasoning, they 
attribute the introduction of vice to their gods having 
deserted the earth, and the desertion of the gods to the 
introduction of vice.* This, however, was the logic of 
the poets ; the philosophers disregarded the fable, but 
did not dispute the fact it was intended to account for. 
They often hint at human degeneracy, and some un- 
known curse hanging over our being, and even coming 
into the world along with us. Pliny, in the preface 
to his seventh book, has this remarkable passage : " The 
animal about to rule over the rest of created animals, 
lies weeping, bound hand and foot, making his first en- 
trance upon life with sharp pangs, and this for no other 
crime than that he is bom manP Cicero, in a pas- 
sage for the preservation of which we are indebted to 
St Augustine, gives a yet stronger idea of an existing 

* Kai tots. O'/i tf^og oXvptfov a,cro %0ovo? tl^vSar,;, 
kiUKOitriv (^uoiiffai tcocXv^/cc/xsvc^ Xgoot tcocXovj 
AtfctvciTcov [aztcx, (pvXov ITOV, t 7TpoXl<7r 0VT &lV@D6JT0Vg 
AiSas xou T$£/jL<o-is' TV- ^- ^.ic^STCci ocXysoc Tiuy^tx. 

©VVTOIS CtVppOJ'Z'OiO't, 7i.eX.7COV V 0V7C IffVlTOU O.Xx.7]. 

Hesiod. Optra et Bis lib. i. 200: 

" Victa jacet Fid as : et Virgo crede madcntes, 
Ultima coelestum terras Astraoa reliquit. 

Oyid. 1. i., fab. 4. 

" Paulatim deinde ad Superos Astra? recessit, 
Hac comite atque duae paritcr fugcre sororcs." 

Juvexal, Sat. vi., 1. 19. 



IX.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 3G7 

degeneracy in human nature : " Man," says he, " comes 
into existence, not as from the hands of a mother, but of 
a step-dame nature, with a body feeble, naked and fra- 
gile, and a mind exposed to anxiety and care, abject in 
fear, unmeet for labour, prone to licentiousness, in 
which, however, there still dwell some sparks of the Di- 
vine Mind, though obscured, and as it were in ruins." 
And, in another place, he intimates it as a current 
opinion, that man comes into the world as into a state 
of punishment expiatory of crimes committed in some 
previous stage of existence, of which we now retain no 
recollection. 

From these proofs, and from daily observations and 
experience, there is every ground for concluding that 
man is in a state of misery and depravity quite incon- 
sistent with the happiness for which, by a benevolent 
God, he must have been created. We see glaring marks 
of this in our own times. Prejudice alone blinds us to 
the absurdity and the horror of those systematic murders 
which goby the name of wars ; where man falls on man, 
brother slaughters brother ; where death, in every variety 
of horror, preys " on the finely fibred human frame" 
and where the cry of the widow and the orphan rise up to 
Heaven long after the thunder of the fight and the clang 
of arms have ceased, and the bones of sons, brothers, and 
husbands slain are grown white on the field. Customs 
like these vouch, with most miraculous organs, for the 
depravity of the human heart ; and these are not the most 
mournful of the considerations which present themselves 
to the miud of the thinking man. 

Private life is equally fertile in calamitous perversion 
of reason and extreme accumulation of misery. On the 
one hand, we see a large proportion of men sedulously 
employed in the eduction of their own ruin, pursuing 
vice in all its varieties, and sacrificing the peace and 
happiness of the innocent and unoffending to their own 
brutal gratifications; and on the other, pain, misfortune 
and misery, overwhelming alike the good and the bad, 
the provident and the improvident. But too general a 
view would distract our attention : let the reader pardon 



368 HENRY KIRKB WHITE' S REMAINS. 

me if I suddenly draw him away from the survey of the 
crowds of life to a few detached scenes. Y\ T e will select 
a single picture at random. The character is common. 
Behold that beautiful female who is rallying a well- 
dressed young man with so much gaiety and humour. 
Did you ever see so lovely a countenance ? There is an 
expression of vivacity in her fine dark eye which quite 
captivates one ; and her smile, were it a little less bold, 
would be bewitching. How gay and careless she seems ! 
One would suppose she had a very light and happy heart. 
Alas ! how appearances deceive ! This gaiety is all 
feigned. It is her business to please, and beneath a fair 
and painted outside she conceals an inquiet and forlorn 
breast. When she was yet very young, an engaging but 
dissolute young man took advantage of her simplicity, 
and of the affection with which he had inspired her, to 
betray her virtue. At first her infamy cost her many 
tears ; but habit wore away this remorse, leaving only 
a kind of indistinct regret, and, as she fondly loved her 
betrayer, she experienced, at times, a mingled pleasure 
even in this abandoned situation. But this was soon 
over. Her lover, on pretence of a journey into the coun- 
try, left her for ever. She soon afterwards heard of his 
marriage, with an agony of grief which few can adequately 
conceive, and none describe. The calls of want, however, 
soon subdued the more distracting ebullitions of anguish. 
She had no choice left ; all the gates of virtue were shut 
upon her, and though she really abhorred the course, she 
was obliged to betake herself to vice for support. Her 
next keeper possessed her person without her heart. 
She has since passed through several hands, and has 
found, by bitter experience, that the vicious, on whose 
generosity she is thrown, are devoid of all feeling bat 
that of self- gratification, and that even the wages of pro- 
stitution are reluctantly and grudgingly paid. She now 
looks on all men as sharpers. She smiles but to entangle 
and destroy, and while she simulates fondness, is intent 
only on the extorting of that, at best poor pittance, which 
her necessities loudly demand. Thoughtless as she may 
seem, she is not without an idea of her forlorn and 



X.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 3G9 

wretched situation, and she looks only to sudden death 
as her refuge, against that time when her charms shall 
cease to allure the eye of incontinence, when even the 
lowest haunts of infamy shall be shut against her, and, 
without a friend or a hope, she must sink under the pres- 
sure of want and disease. 

But we will now shift the scene a little, and select an- 
other object. Behold yon poor weary wretch, who, with a 
child wrapt in her arms, with difficulty drags along the 
road. The man with a knapsack, who is walking before 
her, is her husband, and is marching to join his regi- 
ment. He has been spending, at a dram-shop in the 
town they have just left, the supply which the pale and 
weak appearance of his wife proclaims was necessary for 
her sustenance. He is now half drunk, and is venting 
the artificial spirits which intoxication excites in the 
abuse of his weary help-mate behind him. She seems 
to listen to his reproaches in patient silence. Her face 
will tell you more than many words, as with a wan and 
meaning look she surveys the little wretch who is asleep 
on her arm. The turbulent brutality of the man excites 
no attention : she is pondering on the future chance of 
life, ancLthe probable lot of her heedless little one. 

One other picture, and I have done. The man pacing 
with a slow step and languid aspect over yon prison court, 
was once a fine dashing fellow, the admiration of the 
ladies and the envy of the men. He is the only repre- 
sentative of a once respectable family, and is brought to 
this situation by unlimited indulgence at that time when 
the check is most necessary. He began to figure in gen- 
teel life at an early age. His misjudging mother, to 
whose sole care he was left, thinking no alliance too good 
for her darling, cheerfully supplied his extravagance, 
under the idea that it would not last long, and that it 
would enable him to shine in those circles where she 
wished him to rise. But he soon found that habits of pro- 
digality once well gained are never eradicated. His for- 
tune, though genteel, was not adequate to such habits of 
expense. His unhappy parent lived to see him make a 
degrading alliance, and come in danger of a jail, and 



"1 



370 HENRY K1RKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

then died of a broken heart. His affairs soon wound 
themselves up. His debts were enormous, and he had no- 
thing to pay them with. He has now been in that prison 
for many years, and since he is excluded from the bene- 
fit of an insolvency act, he has made up his mind to the 
idea of ending his days there. His wife, whose beauty 
had decoyed him, since she found he could not support 
her, deserted him for those who could, leaving him with- 
out friend or companion, to pace, with measured steps, 
over the court of a country jail, and endeavour to beguile 
the lassitude of imprisonment, by thinking on the days 
that are gone, or counting the squares in his grated win- 
dow in every possible direction, backwards, forwards, 
and across, till he sighs to find the sum always the same, 
and that the more anxiously we strive to beguile the 
moments in their course the more sluggishly they travel. 

If these are accurate pictures of some of the varieties 
of human suffering, and if such pictures are common even 
to triteness, what conclusions must we draw as to the con- 
dition of man in general, and what must be the prevail- 
ing frame of mind of him who meditates much on these 
subjects, and who, unbracing the whole tissue of causes 
and effects, sees Misery invariably the offspring of Vice, 
and Vice existing in hostility to the intentions and 
wishes of God ? Let the meditative man turn where 
he will, he finds traces of the depraved state of nature, 
and her consequent misery. History presents him with 
little but murder, treachery, and crime of every descrip- 
tion. Biography only strengthens the view, by concen- 
trating it. The philosophers remind him of the existence 
of evil, by their lessons how to avoid or endure it ; and 
the very poets themselves afford him pleasure, not uncon- 
nected with regret, as either by contrast, exemplification, 
or deduction, they bring the world and its circumstances 
before his eyes. 

That such an one, then, is prone to sadness, who will 
wonder ? If such meditations are beneficial, who will 
blame them? The discovery of evil naturally leads us 
to contribute our mite towards the alleviation of the 
wretchedness it introduces. While we lament vice, we 



X.J MELANCHOLY HOURS. 371 

learn to shun it ourselves, and to endeavour, if possible, 
to arrest its progress in those around us ; and in the 
course of these high and lofty speculations, we are in- 
sensibly led to think humbly of ourselves, and to lift up 
our thoughts to Him who is alone the fountain of all per- 
fection and the source of all good. 

W. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. X. 

fe La rime est une esclave, et ne doit quVoeir." 

Eoileau, L'Art Pveiique. 

Experiments in versification have not often been suc- 
cessful. Sir Philip Sidney, with all his genius, great it 
undoubtedly was, could not impart grace to hexameters or 
fluency to his sapphics. Spenser's stanza was new, but 
his verse was familiar to the ear ; and though his rhymes 
were frequent even to satiety, he seems to have avoided 
the awkwardness of novelty, and the difficulty of unprac- 
tised metres. Donna had not music enough to render 
his broken rhyming couplets sufferable, and neither his 
wit nor his pointed satire were sufficient to rescue him 
from that neglect which his u 
cation speedily superinduced. 

In our times, Mr Southey has given grace and melody 
to some of the Latin and Greek measures, and Mr Bowles 
has written rhyming heroics, wherein the sense is trans- 
mitted from couplet to couplet, and the pauses are varied 
with all the freedom of blank verse, without exciting any 
sensation of ruggeclness, or offending the nicest ear. But 
these are minor efforts : the former of these exquisite 
poets has taken a yet wider range, and in his " Thaiaba, 
the Destroyer/' has spurned at all the received laws of 
metre, and framed a fabric of verse altogether his own. 

An innovation, so bold as that of Mr Southey. was 
sure to meet with disapprobation and ridicule. The 
world naturally looks with suspicion on systems which 
contradict established principles, and refuse to quadrate 



372 HENRY KIItKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

with habits, which, as they have been used to, men are 
apt to think cannot be improved upon. The opposition 
which has been made to the metre of " Thalaba," is, 
therefore, not so much to be imputed to its want of har- 
mony as to the operation of existing prejudices, and it is 
fair to conclude, that, as these prejudices are softened by 
usages, and the strangeness of novelty wears off, the 
peculiar features of this lyrical frame of verse will be 
more candidly appreciated, and its merits more unreser- 
vedly acknowledged. 

Whoever is conversant with the writings of this author 
will have observed and admired that greatness of mind, 
and comprehension of intellect, by which he is enabled, 
on all occasions, to throw off the shackles of habit and 
prepossession. Southey never treads in the beaten track ; 
his thoughts, while they are those of nature, carry that 
cast of originality which is the stamp of testimony and 
genius. He views things through a peculiar phasis, and 
while he has the feelings of a man, they are those of a 
man almost abstracted from mortality, and reflecting on, 
and painting the scenes of life, as if he were a mere spec- 
tator, uninfluenced by his own connexion with the ob- 
jects he surveys, To this faculty of bold discrimination 
I attribute many of Mr Southey's peculiarities as a poet. 
He never seems to inquire how other men would treat a 
subject, or what may happen to be the usage of times ; 
but tilled with that strong sense of fitness, which is the 
result of bold and unshackled thought, he fearlessly pur- 
sues that course which his own sense of propriety points 
out. 

It is very evident to me, and I should conceive to all 
who consider the subject attentively, that the structure 
of verse which Mr Southey has promulgated in his 
" Thalaba," was neither adopted rashly, nor from any 
vain emulation of originality. As the poet himself hap- 
pily observes, " It is the arabesque ornament of an 
Arabian tale.''' No one would wish to see the " Joan of 
Arc" in such a garb : but the wild freedom of the versi- 
fication of " Thalaba" accords well with the romantic 
wildness of the story, and I do not hesitate to say, that, 



XT.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 373 

had any other known measure been adopted, the poem 
would have been deprived of half its beauty and all its 
propriety. In blank verse it would have been absurd ; 
in rhyme insipid. The lyrical manner is admirably adapt- 
ed to the sudden transitions and rapid connections of an 
Arabian tale, while its variety precludes tsedium, and its 
full, because unshackled, cadence satisfies the ear with 
legitimate harmony. At first, indeed, the verse may ap- 
pear uncouth, because it is new to the ear : but I defy 
any man who has any feeling of melody, to peruse the 
whole poem without paying tribute to the sweetness of 
its flow, and the gracefulness of its modulations. 

In judging of this extraordinary poem, we should con- 
sider it as a genuine lyric production, — we should con- 
ceive it as recited to the harp, in times when such rela- 
tions carried nothing incredible with them. Carrying 
this idea along with us, the admirable art of the poet will 
strike us with tenfold conviction ; the abrupt sublimity 
of his transitions, the sublime simplicity of his manner, 
and the delicate touches by which he connects the various 
parts of his narrative, will then be more strongly ob- 
servable, and wq shall, in particular, remark the uncom- 
mon felicity with which he has adapted his versification, 
and in the midst of the wildest irregularity, left nothing 
to shock the ear or offend the judgment. 

W. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS. —No. XL 

THE PROGRESS OF KNOWLEDGE. 

Few histories would be more worthy of attention than 
that of the progress of knowledge, from its first dawn to 
the time of its meridian splendour, among the ancient 
Greeks. Unfortunately, however, the precautions which, 
in this early period, were almost generally taken to con- 
fine all knowledge to a particular branch of men ; and 
when the Greeks began to contend for the palm among 



374 HENRY K1RKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

learned nations, their backwardness to acknowledge the 
sources from whence they derived the first principles of 
their philosophy, have served to wrap this interesting 
subject in almost impenetrable obscurity. Few ves- 
tiges, except the Egyptian hieroglyphics, now remain of 
the learning of the more ancient world. Of the two 
millions of verses said to have been written by the Chal- 
dean Zoroaster,* we have no relics, and the oracles which 
go under his name are pretty generally acknowledged to 
be spurious. 

The Greeks unquestionably derived their philosophy 
from the Egyptians and Chaldeans. Both Pythagoras 
and Plato had visited those countries for the advantage 
of learning ; and if we may credit the received accounts 
of the former of these illustrious sages, he was regularly 
initiated in the schools of Egypt, during the period of 
twenty-two years that he resided in that country, and- 
became the envy and admiration of the Egyptians them- 
selves. Of the Pythagorean doctrines we have some ac- 
counts remaining, and nothing is wanting to render the 
systems of Platonism complete and intelligible. In the 
dogmas of these philosophers, therefore, we may be able 
to trace the learning of these primitive nations, though 
our conclusions must be cautiously drawn, and much must 
be allowed to the active intelligence of two Greeks. 
Ovid's short summary of the philosophy of Pythagoras 
deserves attention : — 

-" Isque, licet coeli regione remotos 



Mente Deos adiit : et, quee natura negabat 
Visibus humanis, oculis ea pectoris hausit. 
Cmnque animo et vigili perspexerat omnia cura ; 
In medium discenda dabat : coetumque silentum, 
Dictaque mirantum, magni primordia mundi 
Et rerurn causas et quid natura docebat, 
Quid Deus : uncle nives : quaa fulminis csset origo 
Jupiter, an venti, discussa nube, tonarent, 
Quid quateret terras : qua sidera lege mearent 
Et quodcumque latet." 

If we are to credit this account, and it is corroborated 
by many other testimonies, Pythagoras searched deeply 

* Pliny. 



XI.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 375 

into natural causes. Some have imagined, and strongly 
asserted, that his central fire was figurative of the sun. 
and, therefore, that he had an idea of its real situation ; 
but this opinion, so generally adopted, may be combated 
with some degree of reason. I should be inclined to think 
Pythagoras gained his idea of the great, central, vivify- 
ing, and creative fire from the Chaldeans, and that, there- 
fore, it was the representative not of the sun, but of the 
Deity. Zoroaster taught that there was one God, Eter- 
nal, the Father of the Universe : he assimilated the Deity 
to light, and applied to him the names of Light, Beams, 
and Splendour. The Magi, corrupting this representa- 
tion of the Supreme Being, and taking literally what was 
meant as allegory or symbol, supposed that God was this 
central fire, the source of heat, light, and life, residing in 
the centre of the universe ; and from hence they intro- 
duced among the Chaldeans the worship of fire. That 
Pythagoras was tainted with this superstition is well 
known. On the testimony of Plutarch, his disciples held, 
that in the midst of the world is fire, or in the midst of 
the four elements is the fiery globe of Unity, or Monad — 
the procreative, nutritive, and excitative power. The 
sacred fire of Yesta, among the Greeks and Latins, was a 
remain of this doctrine. 

As the limits of this paper will not allow me to take in 
all the branches of this subject, I shall confine my atten- 
tion to the opinions held by these early nations of the 
nature of the Godhead. 

Amidst the corruptions introduced by the Magi, we may 
discern, with tolerable certainty, that Zoroaster taught 
the worship of the one true God : and Thales, Pythagoras, 
and Plato, who had all been instituted in the mysteries 
of the Chaldeans, taught the same doctrine. These phi- 
losophers likewise asserted the omnipotence and eternity 
of God ; and that he was the creator of all things, and 
the governor of the universe. Plato decisively supported 
the doctrines of future rewards and punishments ; and 
Pythagoras, struck with the idea of the omnipresence of 
he Deity, defined him as animus per universas mundi 
partes omnemque naturam commeans atque diffusus ex 



376 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

quo omnia qxioz nascuntiir animalia vitam capiunt* — 
an intelligence moving upon and diffused over all the 
parts of the universe and all nature, from which all ani- 
mals derive their existence. As for the swarm of gods 
worshipped both in Egypt and Greece, it is evident they 
were only esteemed as inferior deities. In the time of 
St Paul there was a temple at Athens inscribed to the 
unknown God : and Hesiod makes them youuger than the 
earth and heaven. 

E§ c&Qxwg ovg Totiu kmi Ougavog svgvg srocrov 
Ot r i*< rcov iysvovro foot 'bcornosg tchodv. 

Theog. 

If Pythagoras and the other philosophers who suc- 
ceeded him paid honour to these gods, they either did it 
through fear of encountering ancient prejudices, or they 
reconciled it by recurring to the Dsemonology of their 
masters, the Chaldeans, who maintained the agency of 
good and bad daemons, who presided over different things, 
and were distinguished into the powers of light and dark- 
ness, heat and cold. It is remarkable, too, that amongst 
all these people, whether Egyptians or Chaldeans, Greeks 
or Romans, as well as every other nation under the sun, 
sacrifices were made to the gods, in order to render them 
propitious to their wishes, or to expiate their offences — 
a fact which proves that the conviction of the interference 
of the Deity in human affairs is universal : and what is 
much more important, that this custom is primitive, and 
derived from the first inhabitants of the world. 



MELANCHOLY HOURS.— No. XII. 

While the seat of empire was yet at Byzantium, and 
that city was the centre, not only of dominion, but of 
learning and politeness, a certain hermit had fixed his re- 

* Lactantius Div. Inst. lib. cap. 5, etiam, Minucius Felix. " Pytha- 
gorce Deus est animus per universam rerum natnram commeans atque 
intentus ex quo etiam animalium omnium vita capiatur." 



XI.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 377 

sidence in a cell, on the banks of the Athyras, at the dis- 
tance of about ten miles from the capital. The spot was 
retired, although so near the great city, and was pro- 
tected, as well by woods and precipices, as by the awful 
reverence with which, at that time, all ranks beheld the 
character of a recluse. Indeed the poor old man, who 
tenanted the little hollow, at the summit of a crag, be- 
neath which the Athyras rolls its impetuous torrent, was 
not famed for the severity of his penances or the strictness 
of his mortifications. That he wa£> either studious or pro- 
tracted his devotions to a late hour, was evident, for his 
lamp was often seen to stream through the trees which 
shaded his dwelling, when accident called any of the 
peasants from their beds at unseasonable hours. Be this 
as it may, no miracles were imputed to him ; the sick 
rarely came to petition for the benefit of his prayers, 
and, though some both loved him and had good reason for 
loving him, yet many undervalued him for the want of 
that very austerity which the old man seemed most de- 
sirous to avoid. 

It was evening, and the long shadows of the Thracian 
mountains were extending still farther and farther along 
the plains, when this old man was disturbed in his medi- 
tations by the approach of a stranger. '* How far is it 
to Byzantium !" was the question put by the traveller ? 
" Not far to those who know the country," replied the 
hermit, " but a stranger would not easily find his way 
through the windings of these woods and the intricacies 
of the plains beyond them. Do you see that blue mist 
which stretches along the bounding line of the horizon as j 
far as the trees will permit the eye to trace it ? That is 
the Propontis ; and higher up on the left, the city of Con- 
stantinople rears it proud head above the waters. But 
I would dissuade thee, stranger, from pursuing thy jour- 
ney farther to-night. Thou mayest rest in the village, 
which is half-way down the hill ; or if thou wilt share my 
supper of roots, and put up with a bed of leaves, my cell 
is open to thee." " I thank thee, father," replied the 
youth, " I am weary with my journey, and will accept 
thy proffered hospitality." They ascended the rock to- 



378 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

gether. The hermit's cell was the work of nature. It 
penetrated far into the rock, and in the innermost recess 
was a little chapel, furnished with a crucifix, and a hu- 
man skull, the objects of the hermit's nightly and daily 
contemplation, for neither of them received his adoration. 
That corruption had not as yet crept into the Christian 
Church. The hermit now lighted up a fire of dried sticks, 
for the nights are very piercing in the regions above the 
Hellespont and Bosphorus), and then proceeded to pre- 
pare their vegetable meal. While he was thus employed, 
his young guest surveyed, with surprise, the dwelling 
which he was to inhabit for the night. A cold rock- 
hole, on the bleak summit of one of the Thracian hills, 
seemed to him a comfortless choice for a weak and soli- 
tary old man. The rude materials of his scanty furni- 
ture still more surprised him. A table fixed to the 
ground, a wooden bench, an earthen lamp, a number of 
rolls of papyrus and vellum, and a heap of leaves in a cor- 
ner, the hermit's bed, were all his stock. " Is it pos- 
sible," at length he exclaimed, '•' that you can tenant 
this comfortless cave, with these scanty accommodations, 
through choice ? Go with me, old man, to Constanti- 
nople, and receive from me those conveniences which 
befit your years." " And what art thou going to do at 
Constantinople, my young friend ?" said the hermit, 
" for thy dialect bespeaks thee a native of more southern 
regions. Am I mistaken, art thou not an Athenian ?" 
" I am an Athenian," replied the youth, t; by birth, but 
I hope I am not an Athenian in vice. I have left my 
degenerate birth-place in quest of happiness. I have 
learned from my master, Speusippus, a genuine asserter 
of the much belied doctrines of Epicurus, that as a future 
state is a mere phantom and vagary of the brain, it is 
the only true wisdom to enjoy life while we have it. But 
I have learned from him also, that virtue alone is true 
enjoyment. I am resolved therefore to enjoy life, and 
that too with virtue, as my companion and guide. My 
travels are begun with the design of discovering where I 
can best unite both objects ; enjoyment the most exqui- 
site, with virtue the most perfect. You perhaps, may 



XI.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 379 

have reached the latter, my good father ; the former you 
have certainly missed. To-morrow I will continue the 
search. At Constantinople I shall laugh and sing with 
the gay, meditate with the sober, drink deeply of every 
unpolluted pleasure, and taste all the fountains of wis- 
dom and philosophy. I have heard much of the accom- 
plishments of the women of Byzantium. With us fe- 
males are mere household slaves ; here, I am told, they 
have minds. I almost promise myself that I shall marry, 
and settle at Constantinople where the loves and graces 
seem alone to reside, and where even the women have 
minds. My good father, how the wind roars about this 
aerial nest of yours, and here you sit, during the long cold 
nights, all alone, cold and cheerless, when Constantinople 
is just at your feet, with all its joys, its comforts, and its 
elegancies. I perceive that the philosophers of our sect, 
who succeeded Epicurus, were right, when they taught 
that there might be virtue without enjoyment, and 
that virtue without enjoyment is not worth the having." 
The face of the youth kindled with animation as he spake 
these words, and he visibly enjoyed the consciousness 
of superior intelligence. The old man sighed, and was 
silent. As they ate their frugal supper both parties 
seemed involved in deep thought. The young traveller 
was dreaming of the Byzantine women ; his host seemed 
occupied with far different meditations. " So you are 
travelling to Constantinople in search of happiness ?" 
at length exclaimed the hermit, " I, too, have been a 
suitor of that divinity, and it may be of use to you to 
hear how I have fared. The history of my life will 
serve to fill up the interval before we retire to rest, and 
my experience may not prove altogether useless to one 
who is about to go the same journey which I have 
finished. 

" These scanty hairs of mine were not always gray 
nor these limbs decrepid : I was once like thee, young, 
fresh, and vigorous, full of delightful dreams and gay 
anticipations. Life seemed a garden of sweets, a path of 
roses ; and I thought I had but to choose in what way I 
would be happy. I will pass over the incidents of my 



380 HENRY KIEKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

boyhood, and come to my maturer years. I had scarcely 
seen twenty summers when I formed one of those extra- 
vagant and ardent attachments of which youth is so sus- 
ceptible. It happened that, at that time, I bore arms un- 
der the emperor Theodosius in his expedition against the 
Goths, who had overrun a part of Thrace. In our return 
from a successful campaign we staid some time in the 
Greek cities which border on the Euxine. In one of these 
cities I became acquainted with a female, whose form was 
not more elegant than her mind was cultivated and her 
heart untainted. I had done her family some trivial ser- 
vices, and hergratitude spoke too warmly to my intoxicated 
brain to leave any doubt on my mind that she loved me. 
The idea was too exquisitely pleasing to be soon dismissed. 
I sought overy occasion of being with her. Her mild per- 
suasive voice seemed like the music of heaven to my ears, 
after the toils and roughness of a soldier's life. I had 
a friend too, whose converse, next to that of the dear ob- 
ject of my secret love, was most dear to me. He formed 
the third in all our meetings, and beyond the enjoyment 
of the society of these two I had not a wish. I had never 
yet spoken explicitly to my female friend, but I fondly 
hoped we understood each other. Why should I dwell 
on the subject ? I was mistaken. My friend threw him- 
self on my mercy. I found that he, not I, was the object 
of her affections. Young man, you may conceive, but I 
cannot describe what I felt, as I joined their hands. The 
stroke was severe, and, for a time, unfitted me for the 
duties of my station. I suifered the army to leave the 
place without accompanying it : and thus lost the rewards 
of my past services, and forfeited the favour of my sove- 
reign. This was another source of anxiety and regret 
to me, as my mind recovered its wanted tone. But the 
mind of youth, however deeply it may feel for a while, 
eventually rises up from dejection, and regains its wonted 
elasticity. That vigour by which the spirit recovers itself 
from the depths of useless regret, and enters upon new 
prospects with its accustomed ardour, is only subdued by 
time. I now applied myself to the study of philosophy, 
under a Greek master, and all my ambition was directed 



XII.] MELANCHOLY HOURS. 381 

towards letters. But ambition is not quite enough to fill 
a young man's heart. I still felt a void there, and sighed 
as I reflected on the happiness of my friend. At the time 
when I visited the object of my first love, a young Chris- 
tian woman, her frequent companion, had sometimes 
taken my attention. She was an Ionian by birth, and 
had all the softness and pensive intelligence which her 
countrywomen are said to possess when unvitiated by the 
corruption so prevalent in that delightful region. You 
are no stranger to the contempt with which the Greeks 
then treated, and do still, in some places, treat the Chris- 
tians. This young woman bore that contempt with a 
calmness which surprised me. There were then but few 
converts to that religion in those parts, and its profession 
was therefore more exposed to ridicule and persecution 
from its strangeness. Notwithstanding her religion, I 
thought I could love this interesting and amiable female, 
and in spite of my former mistake, I had the vanity to 
imagine I was not indifferent to her. As our intimacy 
increased, I learned, to my astonishment, that she re- 
garded me as one involved in ignorance and error, and 
that, although she felt an affection forme, yet she would 
never become my wife while I remained devoted to the 
religion of my ancestors. Piqued at this discovery, I re- 
ceived the books, which she had now for the first time 
put into my hands, with pity and contempt. I expected 
to find them nothing but the repositaries of a miserable 
and deluded superstition, more presuming than the mysti- 
cal leaves of the Sibyls, or the obscure triads of Zoroaster. 
How was I mistaken ! There was much which I could 
not at all comprehend ; but, in the midst of this dark- 
ness, the effect of my ignorance, I discerned a system of 
morality, so exalted, so exquisitely pure, and 60 far re- 
moved from all I would have conceived of the most per- 
fect virtue, that all the philosophy of the Grecian world 
seemed worse than dross in comparison. My former learn- 
ing had only served to teach me that something was want- 
ing to complete the systems of philosophers. Here that 
invisible link was supplied, and I could even then observe 
a harmony and consistency in the whole, which carried 



382 HENRY KIEKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

irresistible conviction to my mind. I will not enlarge 
on this subject, Christianity is not a mere set of opinions 
to be embraced by the understanding. It is the work of 
the heart as well as the head. Let it suffice to say, that 
in time, I became a Christian and the husband of 
Sapphira. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH POETS. 

IMITATIONS. 

The sublimity and unaffected beauty of the sacred writ- 
ings are in no instance more conspicuous than in the fol- 
lowing verses of the 18th Psalm :— 

" He bowed the heavens also and came down : and darkness was 
under his feet. 

" And he rode upon a cherub and did fly : yea he did fly upon 
the wings of the wind." 

None of our better versions have been able to preserve 
the original graces of these verses. That wretched one 
of Thomas Sternh old, however (which, to the disgrace and 
manifest detriment of religious worship, is generally used), 
has, in this solitary instance, and then perhaps by acci- 
dent, given us the true spirit of the Psalmist, and has sur- 
passed not only Merrick, but even the classic Buchanan.* 
This version is as follows : — 

" The Lord descended from above, 
And bowed the heavens high, 
And underneath his feet he cast 
The darkness of the sky. 

* That the reader may judge for himself, Buchanan's translation is 
subjoined: — 

" Utque suum dominum terras demittat in orbem 
Leniter inclinat jussum fastigia ccelum ; 
Succedunt pedibus fuscse caliginis umbrae ; 
file vehens curru volucri, cui flammeus ales 
Lora tenens levibus ventorum airemigat alis 
Se circum fulvo nebularum involvit amictu, 
Preetenditque cavis piceas in nubibus undas." 
This is somewhat too harsh and prosaic, and there is an unpleasant 
cacophony in the terminations of the fifth and sixth lines. 



384 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REJIAINS. 



'• On cherubs and on cherubims 
Full royally he rode, 
And on the wings of mighty winds 
Came flying all abroad." 

Dryden honoured these verses with very high commen- 
dation, and, in the following lines of his Annus Mirabi- 
lis, has apparently imitated them, in preference to the ori- 
ginal. 

" The duke less numerous, but in courage more, 
On wings of all the winds to combat flies." 

And in his Ceyx and Alcyone, from Ovid, he has — 
" And now sublime she rides upon the wind." 

which is probably imitated, as well as most of the follow- 
ing, not from Sternhold, but the original. Thus Pope, 

" Not God alone in the still calm we find, 
He mounts the storm and rides upon the wind." 

And Addison — 

" Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm." 
The unfortunate Chatter ton has — 

" And rides upon the pinions of the wind." 
And Gray — 

" With arms sublime that float upon the air." 

Few poets of eminence have less incurred the charge 
of plagiarism than Milton ; yet many instances might be 
adduced of similarity of idea and language with the Scrip- 
ture, which are certainly more than coincidences ; and 
some of these I shall, in a future number, present to your 
readers. Thus the present passage in the Psalmist was 
in all probability in his mind when he wrote — 

" And with mighty wings outspread, 

Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss." 

Par. Lost, 1. 20, b. i. 






MISCELLANEOUS. 335 



The third verse of the 104th Psalm, 

" He maketh the clouds his chariot, and walketh upon the wings 
of the wind," — 

is evidently taken from the before-mentioned verses in the 
18th Psalm, on which it is perhaps an improvement. It 
has also been imitated by two of our first poets, Shake- 
speare and Thomson. The former in Romeo and Juliet — 

" Bestrides the lazy paced clouds, 
And sails upon the bosom of the air." 

The latter in Winter, 1. 199— 

" Till Nature's king, who oft 



Amid tempestuous darkness dwells alone, 
And on the wings of the careering winds 
Walks dreadfully serene." 

As these imitations have not before, I believe, been no- 
ticed, they cannot fail to interest the lovers of polite let- 
ters ; and they are such as at least will amuse your readers 
in general. If the sacred writings were attentively per- 
used, we should find innumerable passages from which our 
best modern poets have drawn their most admired ideas ; 
and the enumeration of these instances would perhajDs 
attract the attention of many persons to those volumes, 
which they now perhaps think to contain everything te- 
dious and disgusting, but which, on the contrary, they 
would find replete with interest, beauty, and true subli- 
mity. 



STERNHOLD AND HOPKINS. 

Mr Editor, 

In your " Mirror" for July, a Mr William Toone has 
offered a few observations on a paper of mine, in a pre- 
ceding number, containing remarks on the versions and 
imitations of the ninth and tenth verses of the 18th Psalm, 



2 B 



386 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

to which I think it necessary to offer a few words by way 
of reply ; as they not only put an erroneous construction 
on certain passages of that paper, but are otherwise open 
to material objection. 

The object of Mr Toone, in some parts of his observa- 
tions, appears to have been to refute something which he 
fancied I had advanced, tending to establish the gene- 
ral merit of Sternhold and Hopkins' translation of the 
Psalms : but he might have saved himself this unneces- 
sary trouble, as I have decidedly condemned it as mere 
doggrel, still preserved in our churches to the detriment 
of religion. And the version of the passage in question 
is adduced as a brilliant, though probably accidental, ex- 
ception to the general character of the work. What ne- 
cessity, therefore, your correspondent could see for " hop- 
ing that I should think with him, that the sooner the old 
version of the Psalms was consigned to oblivion, the better 
it would be for rational devotion" I am perfectly at a loss 
to imagine. 

This concluding sentence of Mr Toone's paper, which 
I consider as introduced merely by way of rounding the 
period, and making a graceful exit, needs no further ani- 
madversion. I shall therefore proceed to examine the ob- 
jections of the " worthy clergyman of the Church of Eng- 
land" to these verses cited by your correspondent, by 
which he hopes to prove that Dryden, Knox, and the nu- 
merous other eminent men who have expressed their ad- 
miration thereof, to be little better than idiots. The first 
is this : 

" Cherubim is the plural for Cherub ; but our ver- 
sioner, by adding an s to it, has rendered them both plu- 
rals." By adding an s to what ? If the pronoun it re- 
fer to cherubim, as according to the construction of the 
sentence it really does, the whole objection is nonsense. 
But the worthy gentleman, no doubt, meant to say, that 
Sternhold had rendered them both plurals, by the addi- 
tion of an s to cherub. Even in this sense, however, I 
conceive the charge to be easily obviated ; for, though 
cherubim is doubtless usually considered as the plural of 
cherub, yet the two words are frequently so used in the 



MISCELLANEOUS. 387 



Old Testament as to prove that they were often applied 
to separate ranks of beings. One of these, which I shall 
cite, will dispel all doubt on the subject. 

" And within the oracle he made tivo clierubims of olive tree, 
each ten cubits high." — 1 Kings v. 23, chap. vii. 

The other objection turns upon a word with which it is 
not necessary for me to interfere ; for I did not quote these 
verses as instances of the merit of Sternhold, or his ver- 
sion ; I only asserted that the lines which I then copied 
— viz,, 

" The Lord descended from above," &c. 

were truly noble and sublime. Whether, therefore, Stern- 
hold wrote all the winds (as asserted by your correspon- 
dent, in order to furnish room for objection) or mighty 
winds, is of no import. But if this really be a subsequent 
alteration, I think, at least, there is no improvement ; for 
when we conceive the winds as assembling from all quar- 
ters, at the omnipotent command of the Deity, and bear- 
ing him with their united forces from the heavens, we 
have a more sublime image, than when we see him as fly- 
ing merely on mighty winds, or as driving his team (or 
troop) of angels on a strong tempest's rapid wing, with 
most amazing swiftness, as elegantly represented by 
Brady and Tate* 

I differ from your correspondent's opinion, that these 
verses, so far from possessing sublimity, attract the reader 
merely by their rumbling sound. And here it may not 
be amiss to observe, that the true sublime does not con- 
sist of high-sounding words, or pompous magnificence ; 
on the contrary, it most frequently appears clad in native 
dignity and simplicity, without art and without orna- 
ment. 

* How any man, enjoying the use of his senses, could prefer the con- 
temptible version of Brady and Tate of this verse to Sternhold, is to 
me inexplicable. The epithets which are introduced would have dis- 
graced a school-boy, and the majestic imagery of the original is sa- 
crificed to make room for tinsel and fustian. 

« 4 The chariot of the king of kings. 
Wliich active troops of angels drew, 
On a strong tempest's rapid wings, 
With most amazing swiftness flew. 



38ft HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

The most elegant critic of antiquity, Longinus, in his ■ 

treatise on the sublime, adduces the following passage | 

from the book of Genesis, as possessing that quality in an i 
eminent degree — 

" God said, Let there be light ; and there ivas light : Let the earth \ 
be ; and the earth was* — " 

From what I have advanced on this subject, I would 
not have it inferred, that I conceive the version of Stern- 
hold and Hopkins, generally speaking, to be superior to 
that of Brady and Tate ; for, on the contrary, in almost 
every instance, except that above mentioned, the latter 
possesses an indubitable right to pre-eminence. Our 
language, however, cannot yet boast one version possess- 
ing the true spirit of the original ; some are beneath con- 
tempt, and the best has scarcely attained mediocrity. 
Your correspondent has quoted some verses from Tate, in 
triumph, as comparatively excellent ; but, in my opinion, 
they are also instances of our general failure in sacred 
poetry : they abound in those ambitiosa orn amenta which 
do well to please women and children, but which disgust 
the man of taste. 

To the imitations already noticed of this passage, per- 
mit me to add the following — 

" But various Iris Jove's commands to bear, 
Speeds on the wings of winds through liquid air." 

Pope's Iliad, b. ii. 
" Miguel cruzando os pelagos do vento." 

Carlos Reduzido, canto i. 

by Pedro de Azevedo Tojal, an ancient Portuguese poet 
of some merit. 



REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH POETS. 

WART ON. 

The poems of Thomas Warton are replete with a sub- 
limity and richness of imagery, which seldom fail to en- 

* The critic apparently quoted from memory, for we may search in 
vain for the latter part of this sentence. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 389 



chant : every line presents new beauties of idea, aided by 
all the magic of animated diction. From the inexhaust- 
ible stores of figurative language, majesty, and subli- 
mity, which the ancient English poets afford, he has culled 
some of the richest and the sweetest flowers. But, un- 
fortunately, in thus making use of the beauties of other 
writers, he has been too unsparing ; for the greater num- 
ber of his ideas, and nervous epithets, cannot, strictly 
speaking, be called his own ; therefore, however we may 
be charmed by the grandeur of his images, or the felicity 
of his expression, we must still bear in our recollection, 
that we cannot with justice bestow upon him the highest 
eulogium of genius — that of originality. 

It has, with much justice, been observed, that Pope and 
his imitators have introduced a species of refinement into 
our language, which has banished that nerve and pathos 
for which Milton had rendered it eminent. Harmonious 
modulations, and unvarying exactness of measure, totally 
precluding sublimity and fire, have reduced our fashion- 
able poetry to mere sing-song. But Thomas Warton, 
whose taste was unvitiated by the frivolities of the day, 
immediately saw the intrinsic worth of what the world 
then slighted. He saw that the ancient poets contained 
a fund of strength, and beauty of imagery as well as dic- 
tion, which in the hands of genius would shine forth with 
redoubled lustre. Entirely rejecting, therefore, modern 
niceties, he extracted the honied sweets from these beau- 
tiful, though neglected flowers. Every grace of senti- 
ment, every poetical term, which a false taste had ren- 
dered obsolete, was by him revived and made to grace his 
own ideas ; and though many will condemn him as guilty 
of plagiarism, yet few will be able to withhold the tribute 
of their praise. 

The peculiar forte of Warton seems to have been in the 
sombre descriptive. The wild airy flights of a Spenser, 
the " chivalrous feats of barons bold," or the " cloister 'd 
solitude," were the favourites of his mind. Of this his 
bent, he informs us in the following lines : — 

" Through Pope's soft song though all the graces breathe, 
And happiest art adorns his Attic page, 



390 HENRY KTEKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

Yet does my mind with sweeter transport glow, 

As, at the root of mossy trunk reclin'd, 

In magic Spenser's wildly warbled song 

I see deserted Una wander wide 

Through wasteful solitudes and lurid heaths, 

"Weary, forlorn ; than where the fated- fair 

Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames, 

Launches in all the lustre of brocade, 

Amid the splendours of the laughing sun ; 

The gay description palls upon the sense 

And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss." 

Pleasures of Melancholy. 

Warton's mind was formed for the grand and the sub- 
lime. Were his imitations less verbal and less numerous, 
I should be led to imagine, that the peculiar beauties of 
his favourite authors had sunk so impressively into his 
mind, that he had unwittingly appropriated them as his 
own ; but they are in general such as to preclude the 
idea. 

To the metrical, and other intrinsic ornaments of style, 
he appears to have paid due attention. If we meet with 
an uncouth expression, we immediately perceive that it 
is peculiarly appropriate, and that no other term could 
have been made use of with so happy an effect. His 
poems abound with alliterative lines. Indeed, this figure 
seems to have been his favourite ; and he studiously seeks 
every opportunity to introduce it : however, it must be 
acknowledged, that his " daisy-dappled dale," &c, occur 
too frequently. 

The poem on which Warton's fame (as a poet) prin- 
cipally rests, is the " Pleasures of Melancholy," and (not- 
withstanding the perpetual recurrence of ideas which are 
borrowed from other poets) there are few pieces which I 
have perused with more exquisite gratification. The 
gloomy tints with which he overcasts his descriptions ; his 
highly figurative language ; and, above all, the antique 
air which the poem wears, convey the most sublime ideas 
to the mind. 

Of the other pieces of this poet, some are excellent, and 
they all rise above mediocrity. In his sonnets he has suc- 
ceeded wonderfully ; that written at Winslade, and the 

* Belinda Vide Pope's " Rape of the Lock." 



MISCELLANEOUS. 391 

one to the river Lodon, are peculiarly beautiful, and 
that to Mr Gray is most elegantly turned. The " Ode 
on the approach of Summer," is replete with genius and 
poetic fire : and even over the Birthday odes, which he 
wrote as poet laureat, his genius has cast energy and 
beauty. His humorous pieces and satires abound in wit : 
and, in short, taking him altogether, he is an ornament 
to our country and our language, and it is to be regretted 
that the profusion w T ith which he has made use of the 
beauties of other poets should have given room for cen- 
sure. 

I should have closed my short, and I fear jejune, essay 
on War ton, but that I wished to hint to your truly ele- 
gant and acute Stamford correspondent, Octavius Gil- 
christ (whose future remarks on Warton's imitations I 
await with considerable impatience), that the passage in 
the " Pleasures of Melancholy" — 

- * or ghostly shape, 



At distance seen, invites, with beck'ning hand. 
Thy lonesome stejis," 

which he supposes to be taken from the following in 
" Comus," 

" Of calling shapes, ard beck'ning shadows dire, 
And airy tongues that syllable men's names," 

is mere probably taken from the commencement of Pope's 
elegy on an unfortunate lady — 

" What beck'ning ghost, along the moonlight shade 
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade ?" 

The original idea was possibly taken from " Comus" 
by Pope, from whom Warton, to all appearance, again 
borrowed it. 

Were the similarity of the passage in Gray to that in 
Warton less striking and verbal, I should be inclined to 
think it only a remarkable coincidence ; for Gray's bio- 
grapher informs us, that he commenced his elegy in 1742, 
and that it was completed in 1744, being the year which 
he particularly devoted to the Muses, though he did not 



392 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

" put the finishing stroke to it" until 1750. The " Plea- 
sures of Melancholy" were published in 4to, in 1747. 
Therefore Gray might take his third stanza from War- 
ton ; but it is rather extraordinary that the third stanza 
of a poem should be taken from another published five 
years after that poem was begun, and three after it was 
understood to be completed. One circumstance, however, 
seems to render the supposition of its being a plagiarism 
somewhat more probable, which is, that the stanza in ques- 
tion is not essential to the connection of the preceding and 
antecedent verses; therefore it might have been added 
by Gray, when he put the " finishing stroke" to his piece 
in 1750. 



CURSORY REMARKS ON TRAGEDY. 

The pleasure which is derived from the representation 
of an affecting tragedy has often been the subject of in- 
quiry among philosophical critics, as a singular pheno- 
menon. That the mind should receive gratification from 
the excitement of those passions which are in themselves 
painful, is really an extraordinary paradox, and it is the 
more inexplicable since, when the same means are em- 
ployed to rouse the more pleasing affections, no adequate 
effect is produced. 

In order to solve this problem, many ingenious hypo- 
theses have been invented. The Abbe Du Bos tells us 
that the mind has such a natural antipathy to a state of 
listlessness and languor, as to render the transition from 
it to a state of exertion, even though by rousing passions 
in themselves painful, as in the instance of a tragedy, a 
positive pleasure. Monsieur Fontenelle has given us a 
more satisfactory account. He tells us that pleasure and 
pain, two sentiments so different in themselves, do not 
differ so much in their cause ; — that pleasure carried too 
far becomes pain, and pain a little moderated becomes 
pleasure. Hence that the pleasure we derive from tra- 



MISCELLANEOUS. 393 



gedy is a pleasing sorrow, a modulated pain. David 
Hume, who has also written upon this subject, unites the 
two systems, with this addition, that the painful emotions 
excited by the representation of melancholy scenes are fur- 
ther tempered, and the pleasure is proportionably height- 
ened, by the eloquence displayed in the relation, the art 
shown in collecting the pathetic circumstances, and the 
judgment evinced in their happy disposition. 

But even now I do not conceive the difficulty to be sa- 
tisfactorily done away. Admitting the postulatum which 
the Abbe Du Bos assumes, that languor is so disagree- 
able to the mind as to render its removal positive plea- 
sure, to be true ; yet, when we recollect, as Mr Hume has 
before observed, that were the same objects of distress 
which give us pleasure in tragedy set before our eyes in 
reality, though they would effectually remove listlessness, 
they would excite the most unfeigned uneasiness, we shall 
hesitate in applying this solution in its full extent to the 
present subject. M. Fontenelle's reasoning is much more 
conclusive ; yet I think he errs egregiously in his pre- 
mises, if he means to imply that any modulation of pain 
is pleasing, because, in whatever degree it may be, it is 
still pain, and remote from either ease or positive plea- 
sure : and if by moderated pain he means an uneasy sen- 
sation abated, though not totally banished, he is no less 
mistaken in the application of them to the subject before 
us. Pleasure may very well be conceived to be painful 
when carried to excess, because it there becomes exertion, 
and is inconvenient. We may also form some idea of a 
pleasure arising from moderated pain, or the transition 
from the disagreeable to the less disagreeable ; but this 
cannot in any wise be applied to the gratification we de- 
rive from a tragedy, for there no superior degree of pain 
is felt for an inferior. As to Mr Hume's addition of the 
pleasure we derive from the art of the poet, for the intro- 
duction of which he has written his whole dissertation on 
tragedy, it merits little consideration. The self-recol- 
lection necessary to render this art a source of gratifica- 
tion must weaken the illusion ; and whatever weakens the 
illusion, diminishes the effect. 



394 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

In these systems it is taken for granted that all those 
passions are excited which are represented in the drama. 
This I conceive to have been the primary cause of error, 
for to me it seems very probable that the only passion or 
affection which is excited is that of sympathy, which par- 
takes of the pleasing nature of pity and compassion, and 
includes in it so much as is pleasing of hope and appre- 
hension, joy and grief. 

The pleasure we derive from the afflictions of a friend 
is proverbial — every person has felt, and wondered why 
he felt, something soothing in the participation of the 
sorrows of those dear to his heart ; and he might, with as 
much reason, have questioned why he was delighted with 
the melancholy scenes of tragedy. Both pleasures are 
equally singular ; they both arise from the same source. 
Both originate in sympathy. 

It would seem natural that an accidental spectator of 
a cause in a court of justice, with which he is perfectly 
unacquainted, would remain an uninterested auditor of 
what was going forward. Experience tells us, however, 
the exact contrary. He immediately, even before he is 
well acquainted with the merits of the case, espouses one 
side of the question, to which he uniformly adheres, par- 
ticipates in all its advantages, and sympathizes in its suc- 
cess. There is no denying that the interest this man 
takes in the business is a source of pleasure to him ; but 
we cannot suppose one of the parties in the cause, though 
his interest must be infinitely more lively, to feel an equal 
pleasure, because the painful passions are in him really 
roused, while in the other sympathy alone is excited, 
which is in itself pleasing. It is pretty much the same 
with the spectator of a tragedy. And if the sympathy is 
the more pleasing, it is because the actions are so much 
the more calculated to entrap the attention, and the ob- 
ject so much the more worthy. The pleasure is height- 
ened also in both instances by a kind of intuitive recol- 
lection, which never forsakes the spectator, that no bad 
consequences will result to him from the action he is sur- 
veying. This recollection is the more predominant in 
the spectator of a tragedy, as it is impossible in any case 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



S95 



totally to banish from his memory that the scenes are fic- 
titious and illusive. In real life we always advert to 
futurity, and endeavour to draw inferences of the pro- 
bable consequences ; but the moment we take ofT our 
minds from what is passing on the stage to reasonings 
thereupon, the illusion is dispelled, and it again recurs 
that it is all fiction. 

If we compare the degrees of pleasure we derive from 
the perusal of a novel and the representation of a tragedy, 
we shall observe a wonderful disparity. In both we feel 
an interest, in both sympathy is excited. But in the one, 
things are merely related to us as having passed, which it 
is not attempted to persuade us ever did in reality hap- 
pen, and from which, therefore, we never can deceive our- 
selves into the idea that any consequences whatever will 
result ; in the other, on the contrary, the actions them- 
selves pass before our eyes ; we are not tempted to ask 
ourselves whether they did ever happen ; we see them 
happen, we are the witnesses of them, and were it not 
for the meliorating circumstances before-mentioned, the 
sympathy would become so powerful as to be in the high- 
est degree painful. 

In tragedy, therefore, everything which can strengthen 
the illusion should be introduced, for there are a thousand 
drawbacks on the effect which it is impossible to remove, 
and which have always so great a force, as to put it out 
of the power of the poet to excite sympathy in a too pain- 
ful degree. Everything that is improbable, everything 
which is out of the common course of nature should, for 
this reason, be avoided, as nothing will so forcibly re- 
mind the spectator of the unrealness of the illusion. 

It is a mistaken idea that we sympathize sooner with 
the distresses of kings and illustrious personages than 
with those of common life. Men are, in fact, more in- 
clined to commiserate the sufferings of their equals than 
of those whom they cannot but regard, rather with awe 
than pity, as superior beings, and to take an interest in in- 
cidents which might have happened to themselves, sooner 
than in those remote from their own rank and habits. It 
is for this reason that ^Eschylus censures Euripides for in- 



396 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 



introducing his kings in rags, as if they were more to be j 
compassionated than other men. 

ri(96JT0J> pin rovg (Socai'KsvouTOCg paKic/^WTria^au, lv zhzstvol 

Tolg dv^o)7roi^ (puivoitT sheet. 

Some will, perhaps, imagine that it is in the power of 
the poet to excite our sympathy in too powerful a degree, 
because at the representation of certain scenes, the spec- 
tators are frequently affected so as to make them shriek 
out with terror. But this is not sympathy ; it is horror, 
it is disgust, and is only witnessed when some act is com- ! 
mitted on the stage so cruel and bloody, as to make it 
impossible to contemplate it even in idea without horror. 

'• Nee pueros coram populo Medea trucidet, 

Aut huniana palaoi coquat exta nefarius Atreus." 

Hor. Ars Poet., 1. 185. 

It is for this reason, also, that many fine German dra- 
mas cannot be brought on the English stage, such as the 
Robbers of Schiller, and the Adelaide of Wulfingen, by 
Kotzebue ; they are too horrible to be read without vio- 
lent emotions, and Horace will tell you what an immense 
difference there is in point of effect between a relation 
and a representation. 

" Segnius irritant aminos demissa per aurem, 
Quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et qure 
Ipsi sibi tradit spectator." 

Ars Poet., 1. 180. 

I shall conclude these desultory remarks, strung to- 
gether at random, without order or connection, by obser- 
ving what little foundation there is for the general out- 
cry in the literary world against the prevalence of Ger- 
man dramas on our stage. Did they not possess uncom- 
mon merit, they would not meet with such general appro- 
bation. Fashion has but a partial influence, but they 
have drawn tears from an audience in a barn as well as 
in a theatre royal; they have been welcomed with plau- 
dits in every little market town in the three kingdoms 



MISCELLANEOUS. 397 



as well as in the metropolis. Nature speaks but one 
language ; she is alike intelligible to the peasant and the 
man of letters, the tradesman and the man of fashion. 
While the Muse of Germany shall continue to produce 
such plays as the Stranger and Lover's Vows,* who will 
not rejoice that translation is able to naturalize her 
efforts in our language ? 



REFLECTIONS. 



ON PRAYER. 

If there be any duty which our Lord Jesus Christ seems 
to have considered as more indispensably necessary to- 
wards the formation of a true Christian, it is that of 
prayer. He has taken every opportunity of impressing 
on our minds the absolute need in which we stand of the 
Divine assistance, both to persist in the paths of righteous- 
ness and to fly from the allurements of a fascinating but 
dangerous life ; and he has directed us to the only means 
of obtaining that assistance in constant and habitual ap- 
peals to the throne of Grace. Prayer is certainly the 
foundation-stone of the superstructure of a religious life, 
for a man can neither arrive at true piety, nor persevere 
in its ways when attained, unless with sincere and con- 
tinued fervency, and with the most unaifected anxiety, he 
implore Almighty God to grant him his perpetual grace s 
to guard and restrain him from all those derelictions of 
heart to which we are by nature but too prone. I should 
think it an insult to the understanding of a Christian to 
dwell on the necessity of prayer, and before we can ha- 

* I speak of these plays only as adapted to our stage by the elegant 
pens of Mr Thompson and Mrs Inchbald. 



303 HEXEY KIEKE WHITE S EEMAIKS. 

rangue an infidel on its efficacy, we must convince him, 
not only that the Being to whom we address ourselves 
really exists, but that he condescends to hear and to an- 
swer oar humble supplications. As these objects are 
foreign to my present purpose, I shall take my leave of 
the necessity of prayer, as acknowledged by all to whom 
this paper is addressed, and shall be content to expatiate 
on the strong inducements which we have to lift up our 
souls to our Maker in the language of supplication and of 
praise ; to depict the happiness which results to the man 
of true piety from the exercise of this duty ; and, lastly, 
to warn mankind lest their fervency should carry them 
into the extreme of fanaticism, and their prayers, instead 
of being silent and unassuming expressions of gratitude 
to their Maker, and humble entreaties for his favouring 
grace, should degenerate into clamorous vociferations and 
insolent gesticulations, utterly repugnant to the true spi- 
rit of prayer and to the language of a creature address- 
ing his Creator. 

There is such an exalted delight to a regenerate being 
in the act of prayer, and he anticipates with so much plea- 
sure, amid the toils of business, and the crowds of the 
world, the moment when he shall be able to pour out his 
soul without interruption into the bosom of his Maker, 
that I am persuaded that the degree of desire or repug- 
nance which a man feels to the performance of this amiable 
duty is an infallible criterion of his acceptance with God. 
Let the unhappy child of dissipation — let the impure vo- 
luptuary boast of his short hours of exquisite enjoyment ; 
even in the degree of bliss they are infinitely inferior to 
the delight of which the righteous man participates in his 
private devotions, while in their opposite consequences 
they lead to a no less wide extreme than heaven and hell, 
a state of positive happiness and a state of positive misery. 
If there were no other inducement to prayer than the very 
gratification it imparts to the soul, it would deserve to be 
regarded as the most important object of a Christian ; for 
no where else could he purchase so much calmness, so 
much resignation, and so much of that peace and repose 
of spirit, in which consists the chief happiness of this 



MISCELLANEOUS. 399 



otherwise dark and stormy being. But to prayer, besides 
the inducement of momentary gratification, the very self- 
love implanted in our bosoms would lead us to resort, as 
the chief good, for our Lord hath said, " Ask, and it shall 
be given to thee ; knock, and it shall be opened ;" and 
not a supplication made in the true spirit of faith and 
humility but shall be answered ; not a request which is 
urged with unfeigned submission and lowliness of spirit 
but shall be granted, if it be consistent w T ith our happi- 
ness either temporal or eternal. Of this happiness, how- 
ever, the Lord God is the only judge ; but this we do 
know, that whether our requests be granted, or whether 
they be refused, all is working together for our ultimate 
benefit. 

When I say, that such of our requests and solicita- 
tions as are urged in the true spirit of meekness, humi- 
lity, and submission, will indubitably be answered, I 
would wish to draw a line between supplications so urged, 
and those violent and vehement declamations which, un- 
der the name of prayers, are sometimes heard to proceed 
from the lips of men professing to worship God in the 
spirit of meekness and truth. Surely I need not impress 
on any reasonable mind, how directly contrary these in- 
flamed and bombastic harangues are to every precept of 
Christianity, and every idea of the deference due from 
a poor w\)rm, like man, to the Omnipotent and all great 
God. Can we hesitate a moment as to which is more 
acceptable in his sight — the diffident, the lowly, the re- 
tiring, and yet solemn and impressive form of worship 
of our excellent Church, and the wild and laboured ex- 
clamations, the authoratitive and dictatory clamours of 
men who, forgetting the immense distance at which they 
stand from the awful Being whom they address, boldly 
and with unblushing front speak to their Gocl as to an 
equal, and almost dare to prescribe to his infinite wisdom, 
the steps it shall pursue. How often has the silent yet 
eloquent eye of misery wrung from the reluctant hand of 
charity that relief which has been denied to the loud and 
importunate beggar; and is Heaven to be taken by 
storm ? Are we to wrest the Almighty from his purposes 



400 HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 

by vociferation and importunity ? God forbid ! It is a 
fair and a reasonable though a melancholy inference, that 
the Lord shuts his ears against prayers like these, and 
leaves the deluded supplicants to follow the impulse of 
their own headstrong passions, without a guide, and des- 
titute of every ray of his pure and holy light. 

Those mock apostles, who thus disgrace the worship of 
the true God by their extravagance, are very fond of ap- 
pearing to imitate the conduct of our Saviour during his 
mortal peregrination ; but how contrary were his habits 
to those of these deluded men ! Did he teach his disci- 
ples to insult the ear of Heaven with noise and clamour ? 
Were his precepts those of fanaticism and passion ? Did 
he inflame the minds of his hearers with vehement and 
declamatory harangues ? Did he pray with all this con- 
fidence—this arrogance — this assurance? How differ- 
ent was his conduct ! He divested wisdom of all its pomp 
and parade, in order to suit it to the capacities of the 
meanest of his auditors. He spake to them in the lowly 
language of parable and similitude, and when he prayed, 
did he instruct his hearers to attend to him with a loud 
chorus of Amens ? Did he (participating as he did in 
the Godhead), did he assume the tone of sufficiency and 
the language of assurance ? Far from it ! he prayed, and 
he instructed his disciples to pray, in lowliness and meek- 
ness of spirit ; he instructed them to approach the throne 
of Grace with fear and trembling, silently and with the 
deepest awe and veneration ; and he evinced by his con- 
demnation of the prayer of the self-sufficient Pharisee, 
opposed to that of the diffident publican, the light in 
which those were considered in the eyes of the Lord, who, 
setting the terrors of his Godhead at defiance, and boldly 
building on their own unworthiness, approached him with 
confidence and pride. * * * 



There is nothing so indispensably necessary towards 
the establishment of future earthly, as well as heavenly 
happiness, as early impressions of piety. For as religion 



MISCELLANEOUS. 401 



is the sole source of all human welfare and peace, so ha- 
bits of religious reflection, in the spring of life, are the 
only means of arriving at a due sense of the importance 
of divine concerns in age, except by the bitter and hazard- 
ous roads of repentance and remorse. There is not a more 
awful spectacle in nature than the death-bed of a late re- 
pentance. The groans of agony which attend the separa- 
tion of the soul from the body, heightened by the heart- 
piercing exclamation of mental distress, the dreadful 
ebullitions of horror and remorse, intermingled with the 
half- fearful, but fervent deprecations of the divine wrath, 
and prayers for the divine mercy, joined to the pathetic 
implorings to the friends who stand weeping around the 
bed of the sinner to pray for him, and to take warning 
from his awful end, contribute to render this scene such 
an impressive and terrible memento of the state of those 
who have neglected their souls, as must bring to a due 
sense of his duty the most hardened of infidels. 

It is to ensure you, my young friends, as far as precept 
can ensure you, from horrors like these in your last 
moments, that I write this little book, in the hopes, that 
through the blessing of the Divine Being, it may be 
useful in inducing you to reflect on the importance of 
early piety, and lead you into the cheerful performance 
of your duties to God and to your own souls. In the 
pursuit of this plan, I shall, first, consider the bliss which 
results from a pious disposition, and the horrors of a 
wicked one. Secondly, the necessity of an early attention 
to the concerns of the soul towards the establishment of 
permanent religion, and its consequent happiness ; and, 
thirdly, I shall point out, and contrast, the last moments 
of those who have acted in conformity, or in contradic- 
tion, to the rules here laid down. 

The contrast between the lives of the good and the 
wicked man affords such convincing arguments in support 
of the excellence of religion, that even those infidels who 
have dared to assert their misbelief of the doctrine of reve- 
lation, have confessed, that in a political point of view, if 
in no other, it ought to be maintained. Compare the 
peaceful and collected course of the virtuous and pious 

2c 



402 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

man with the turbulent irregularity and violence of him 
who neglects his soul for the allurements of vice, and 
judge for yourselves of the policy of the conduct of each, 
even in this world. Whose pleasures are the most ex- 
quisite ? Whose delights the most lasting ? Whose 
state is the most enviable ? His, who barters his hopes 
of eternal welfare for a few fleeting moments of brutal 
gratification, or his, who while he keeps a future state 
alone in his view, finds happiness in the conscientious 
performance of his duties, and the scrupulous fulfilment of 
the end of his sojourn here ? Believe me, my friends, 
there is no comparison between them. The joys of the 
infatuated mortal who sacrifices his soul to his sensualities 
are mixed with bitterness and anguish. The voice of con- 
science rises distinctly to his ear, amid the shouts of in- 
temperance and the sallies of obstreperous mirth. In the 
hour of rejoicing she whispers her appalling monitions to 
him, and his heart sinks within him, and the smile of 
triumphant villany is converted into the ghastly grin of 
horror and hoplessness. But, oh ! in the languid inter- 
vals of dissipation, in the dead hour of the night, when 
all is solitude and silence, when the soul is driven to 
commune with itself, and the voice of remorse, whose 
whispers were before half drowned in the noise of riot, 
rise dreadfully distinct — what ! — what are his emotions ! 
— Who can paint his agonies, his execrations, his despair! 
Let that man lose again, in the vortex of fashion, and 
folly, and vice, the remembrance of his horrors ; let him 
smile, let him laugh and be merry : believe me, my dear 
readers, he is not happy, he is not careless, he is not the 
jovial being he appears to be. His heart is heavy within 
him ; he cannot stifle the reflections which assail him in 
the very moment of enjoyment ; but strip the painted 
veil from his bosom, lay aside the trappings of folly, and 
that man is miserable, and not only so, but he has pur- 
chased that misery at the expense of eternal torment. 

Let us oppose to this awful picture the life of the good 
man ; of him who rises in the morning, with cheerful- 
ness, to praise his Creator for all the good he hath be- 
stowed upon him, and to perform with studious exactness 



MISCELLANEOUS. 403 



the duties of his station, and lays himself down on his 
pillow in the evening in the sweet consciousness of the 
applause of his own heart. Place this man on the stormy 
seas of misfortune and sorrow— press him with afflictive 
dispensations of Providence- — snatch from his arms the 
object of his affections — separate him for ever from all 
he loved and held dear on earth, and leave him isolated 
and an outcast in the world ; — he is calm — he is com- 
posed — he is grateful — he weeps, for human nature is 
weak, but he still preserves his composure and resignation 
— he still looks up to the Giver of all good with thank- 
fulness and praise, and perseveres with calmness and for- 
titude in the paths of righteousness. His disappoint- 
ments cannot overwhelm him, for his chief hopes were 
placed far, very far, beyond the reach of human vicis- 
situde. " He hath chosen that good part which none 
can take away from him." 

Here then lies the great excellence of religion and 
piety ; they not only lead to eternal happiness, but to the 
happiness of this world ; they not only ensure everlast- 
ing bliss, but they are the sole means of arriving at that 
degree of felicity which this dark and stormy being is 
capable of, and are the sole supports in the hour of ad- 
versity and affliction. How infatuated then must that 
man be who can wilfully shut his eyes to his own wel- 
fare, and deviate from the paths of righteousness which 
lead to bliss. Even allowing him to entertain the erro- 
neous notion that religion does not lead to happiness in 
this life, his conduct is incompatible with every idea of 
a reasonable being. In the " Spectator ,J we find the 
following image, employed to induce a conviction of the 
magnitude of this truth : tl Supposing the whole body of 
the earth were a great ball, or mass of the finest sand, 
and that a single grain, or particle of this sand should 
be annihilated every thousand years; supposing then that 
you had it in your choice to be happy all the while this 
prodigious mass was consuming, by this slow method, 
till there was not a grain of it left, on condition that 
you were to be miserable ever after ; or supposing that 
you might be happy for ever after, on condition that 



404 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

you were to be miserable till the whole mass of sand 
were thus annihilated, at the rate of one sand a thousand 
years ; which of these two cases would you make your 
choice ?" 

It must be confessed that in this case so many * * 

% * # # 



The life of man is transient and unstable ; its fairest 
passages are but a lighter shade of evil, and yet those 
passages form but a disproportionate part of the picture. 
We all seek happiness, though with different degrees of 
avidity, while the fickle object of our pursuits continually 
evades the grasp of those who are the most eager in the 
chase ; and, perhaps, at last throws herself into the arm? 
of those who had entirely lost sight of her, and who, when 
they are most blessed with her enjoyment, are least con- 
scious that they possess her. Were the objects in which 
we placed the consummation of our wishes always vir- 
tuous, and the means employed to arrive at the bourn of 
our desires uniformly good, there can be little doubt that 
the aggregate of mankind would be as happy as is con- 
sistent with the state in which they live ; but, un- 
fortunately, vicious men pursue vicious ends by vicious 
means, and by so doing not only ensure their own misery, 
but they overturn and destroy the fair designs of the 
wiser and the better of their kind. Thus he who has no 
idea of a bliss beyond the gratification of his brutal 
appetites, involves in the crime of seduction the peace 
and the repose of a good and happy family, and an indi- 
vidual act of evil extends itself by a contiuued impulse 
over a large portion of society. It is thus that men of 
bad minds become the pests of the societies of which 
they happen to be members. It is thus that the virtuous 
among men pay the bitter penalty of the crimes and 
follies of their unworthy fellows. 

Men who have passed their whole lives in the lap of 
luxury and enjoyment, have no idea of misery beyond 
that of which they happen to be the individual objects. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 405 



A PRAYER. 

Almighty Father, at the close of another day I kneel 
before thee in supplication, and ere I compose my body 
to sleep, I would steal a few moments from weariness, to 
lift up my thoughts to thy perfections, to meditate on thy 
wonderful dispensations, and to make my request known 
unto thee. 

Although the hours of this day have not been spent in 
the busy haunts of society, but in the pursuit of needful 
and godly knowledge, yet I am conscious that my thoughts 
and actions have been far from pure ; and many vain 
and foolish speculations, many sinful thoughts and am- 
bitious anticipations, have obtruded themselves on my 
mind. I know that I have felt pleasure in what I ought 
to have abhorred, and that I have not had thy presence 
continually in mind ; so that my ghostly enemy has 
mixed poison with my best food, and sowed tares with 
the good seed of instruction. Sometimes, too, the world 
has had too much to do with my thoughts : I have longed 
for its pleasures, its splendours, its honours, and have for- 
gotten that I am a poor follower of Jesus Christ, whose 
inheritance is not in this land, but in the fields above. I 
do therefore supplicate and beseech thee, oh, thou my 
God and Father ! that thou wilt not only forgive these 
my wanderings, but that thou wilt chasten my heart, and 
establish my affections, so that they may not be shaken 
by the light suggestions of the tempter Satan : and since 
I am of myself very w T eak, I implore thy restraining hand 
upon my understanding, that I may not reason in the 
pride of worldly wisdom, nor flatter myself on my at- 
tainments ; but ever hold my judgment in subordi- 
nation to thy word, and see myself, as what I am, an 
helpless dependent on thy bounty. If a spirit of in- 
dolence and lassitude have at times crept on me, I pray 
thy forgiveness for it ; and if I have felt rather inclined 
to prosecute studies which procure respect from the world, 
than the humble knowledge which becomes a servant of 
Christ, do thou check this growing propensity, and only 



406 HENRY KIRKE WHITE'S REMAINS. 

bless my studies so far as they conduce to thy glory, and 
as thy glory is their chief end. My heart, O Lord ! is 
but too fond of this vain and deceitful world, and I have 
many fears lest I should make shipwreck of my hope on 
the rocks of ambition and vanity. Give me, I pray thee, 
thy grace to repress these propensities : illumine more 
completely my wandering mind, rectify my understand- 
ing, and give me a simple and atfectionate heart, to love 
thee and thy sheep with all sincerity. As I increase in 
learning, let me increase in lowness of spirit ; and inas- 
much as the habits of studious life, unless tempered by 
preventing grace, but too much tend to produce formality 
and lifelessness in devotion, do thou, heavenly Father, 
preserve me from all cold and speculative views of thy 
blessed Gospel ; and while with regular constancy I 
kneel down daily before thee, do not fail to light up the 
fire of heavenly love in my bosom, and to draw my heart 
heavenward with earnest longings [to thyself]. 

And now, O Blessed Redeemer ! my rock, my hope, 
and only sure defence, to thee do I cheerfully commit 
both my soul and my body. If thy wise Providence see 
fit, grant that I may rise in the morning, refreshed with 
sleep, and with a spirit of cheerful activity for the duties 
of the day : but whether I awake here or in eternity, 
grant that my trust in thee may remain sure, and my 
hope unshaken. Our Father, &c. 

[This Prayer was discovered amongst some dirty loose papers 
ofH. K. W.'s.] 



A PRAYER. 

Lord, give me a heart to turn all knowledge to thy 
glory, and not to mine : keep me from being deluded with 
the lights of vain philosophy ; keep me from the pride of 
human reason : let me not think my own thoughts, nor 
dream my own imaginations ; but in all things acting 
under the good guidance of the Holy Spirit, may I live 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



407 



in all simplicity, huniilty, and singleness of heart, unto 
the Lord Jesus Christ, now and for evermore. Amen. 

The above Prayer was prefixed to a Manual, or Memorandum-book.] 



HINTS. 

Why will not men be contented with appearing what 
they are ? As sure as we attempt to pass for what we 
are not, we make ourselves ridiculous. With religious 
professors this ought to be a consideration of importance ; 
for when we assume credit for what we do not possess, 
we break the laws of God in more ways than we are 
aware of: vanity and deceit are both implicated. 

Why art thou so disquieted, O my soul, and why so 
full of heaviness ? put thy trust in God ; for I will 
yet thank him which is the help of my countenance, and 
my God. Ps. xlii. 

Domine Jesu in te speravi, miserere mei ! Ne sperne 
animum miserrimi peccatoris. 

The love of Christ is the only source from whence a 
Christian can hope to derive spiritual happiness and 
peace. Now the love of Christ will not reside in the 
bosom already pre-occupied with the love of the world, 
or any other predominating affection. We must give up 
everything for it, and we know it deserves that distinc- 
tion ; yet upon this principle, unless the energy of 
Divine grace were what it is, mighty and irresistible, who 
would be saved ? 

The excellence of our liturgy, and our establishment, 
is more and more impressed upon my mind : how admi- 
rable do her confessions, her penitentiary offerings, her 
intercessions, her prayers, suit with the case of the 
Christian ! It is a sign that a man's heart is not right 
with God, when he finds fault with the liturgy. 

Contempt of religion is distinct from unbelief: un- 
belief may be the result of proud reasonings, and inde- 
pendent research ; but contempt of the Christian doctrine 
must proceed from profound ignorance. 



408 



HENRY KIRKE WHITE S REMAINS. 



MEMORANDUM. 



September 22, 1806. 

On running over the pages of this book, I am con- 
strained to observe, with sorrow and shame, that my pro- 
gress in divine light has been little or none. 

I have made a few conquests over my corrupt in- 
clinations, but my heart still hankers after its old de- 
lights ; still lingers half willing, half unwilling, in the 
ways of worldly-mindedness. 

My knowledge of divine things is very little improved. 
I have read less of the Scriptures than I did last year. 
In reading the Fathers, I have consulted rather the pride 
of my heart, than my spiritual good. 

I now turn to the cause of these evils, and I find that 
the great root, the main-spring is — love of the world ; 
next to that pride ; next to that, spiritual sloth. 

[This Memorandum was written a very few weeks before his death.] 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 



TRIBUTARY YEESES. 



EXTRACT FROM ENGLISH BARDS AND SCOTTISH 
REVIEWERS. 

BY LORD BYRON. 

Unhappy White ! * while life was in its spring, 

And thy young muse just waved her joyous wing, 

The spoiler came ; and all thy promise fair 

Has sought the grave, to sleep for ever there. 

Oh ! what a noble heart was here undone, 

When Science' self destroyed her favourite son ! 

Yes ! she too much indulged thy fond pursuit : 

She sowed the seeds, but Death has reaped the fruit. 

'Twas thine own Genius gave the final blow, 

And helped to plant the wound that laid thee low : 

So the struck eagle, stretch'd upon the plain, 

No more through rolling clouds to soar again, 

Viewed his own feather on the fatal dart, 

And wing'd the shaft that quivered in his heart : 

Keen were his pangs, but keener far to feel 

He nursed the pinion which impell'd the steel, 

While the same plumage that had warm'd his nest, 

Drank the last life-drop of his bleeding breast. 

* Henry Kirke White died at Cambridge, in October 1806, in con- 
sequence of too much exertion in the pursuit of studies that would 
have matured a mind which disease and poverty could not impair 
and which death itself destroyed rather than subdued. His poems 
abound in such beauties as must impress the reader with the liveliest 
regret, that so short a period was allotted to talents which would 
have dignified even the sacred functions he was destined to assume. 



412 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 



SONNET, 

Addressed to H. K. White, on his Poems lately published. 

Henry ! I greet thine entrance into life ! 

Sure presage that the myrmidons of fate, 

The fool's unmeaning laugh, the critic's hate, 

Will dire assail thee ; and the envious strife 

Of bookish schoolmen, beings over rife, 

Whose pia-mater studious is fill'd 

With unconnected matter, half distill'd 

From letter'd page, shall bear for thee the knife, 

Beneath whose edge the poet ofttimes sinks : 

But fear not ! for thy modest work contains 

The germ of worth ; thy wild poetic strains, 

How sweet to him, untutor'd bard, who thinks 

Thy verse " has power to please, as soft it flows 

Through the smooth murmurs of the frequent close." 

G. L. C , 1803. 



SONNET, 

To Henry Iurke White, on his Poems lately published. 

BY ARTHUR OWEN, ESQ. 

Hail ! gifted youth, whose passion-breathing lay 
Portrays a mind attuned to noblest themes, 
A mind, which, wrapt in Fancy's high-wrought dreams. 

To nature's veriest bounds its daring way 

Can wing : what charms throughout thy pages shine, 
To win with fairy thrill the melting soul ! 
For though along impassion'd grandeur roll, 

Yet in full power simplicity is thine. 

Froceed, sweet bard ! and the heav'n-granted fire 
Of pity, glowing in thy feeling breast, 
May nought destroy, may nought thy soul divest 

Of joy — of rapture in the living lyre, 

Thou tunest so magically ; but may fame 
Each passing year add honours to thy name. 
Richmond, Sept. 1803. 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 413 



SONNET, 

On seeing another written to Henry KirJce White, in September 

1S03, inserted in his "Remains by Robert Souther/. if 

BY ARTHUR OWEN. 

Ah ! once again the long-left wires among, 
Truants the Muse to weave her requiem song ; 
With sterner lore now "busied, erst the lav 
Cheer d my dark morn of manhood, wont to stray 
O'er fancy's fields in quest of musky flower ; 

To me nor fragrant less, though barr'd from view 
And courtship of the world : hail'd was the hour 

That gave me, dripping fresh with nature's dew, 
Poor Henry's budding beauties — to a clime 

Hapless transplanted, whose exotic ray 

Forced their young vigour into transient day, 
And drain 'd the stalk that rear'd them ! and shall time 
Trample these orphan blossoms ?— No ! they breathe 
Still lovelier charms — for Southey culls the wreath ! 
Oxford, 17th Dec. 1807. 



ON READING THE POEM ON SOLITUDE, 
In the second Volume of H. K. White's "Remains™ 

But art thou thus indeed " alone ?'' 
Quite unbefriended — all unknown ? 
And hast thou then His name forgot 
Who fornr'd thy frame, and fixed thy lot? 

Is not His voice in evening's gale ? 
Beams not with Him the "star'-' so pale? 
Is there a leaf can fade and die, 
Unnoticed by His watchful eye ? 

Each fluttering hope — each anxious fear — 
Each lonely sigh — each silent tear — 
To thine Almighty Friend are known ; 
And say'st thcu, thou art " all alone ?" 

JOSIAH COKDER. 



414 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 



VERSES 

Occasioned by the Death of Henry KirJce White. 

What is this world at best, 
Though deck'd in vernal bloom, 
By hope and youthful fancy drest. 
What, but a ceaseless toil for rest, 
A passage to the tomb ? 
If flow'rets strew 
The avenue, 
Though fair, alas ! how fading, and how few ! 

And every hour comes arm'd 
By sorrow, or by woe : 
Conceal'd beneath its little wings, 
A scythe the soft-shod pilf'rer brings, 
To lay some comfort low : 
Some tie t' unbind, 
By love entwined, 
Some silken bond that holds the captive mind. 

And every month displays 
The ravages of time : 
Faded the flowers ! — The Spring is past 
The scatter'd leaves, the wintry blast, 
Warn to a milder clime : 
The songsters flee 
The leafless tree, 
And bear to happier realms their melody. 

Henry : the world no more 
Can claim thee for her own ! 
In purer skies thy radiance beams ! 
Thy lyre employed on nobler themes 
Before th' eternal throne : 
Yet, spirit dear, 
Forgive the tear 
Which those must shed who're doom'd to linger here. 

Although a stranger, I 

In friendship's train would weep : 
Lost to the world, alas ! so young, 
And must thy lyre, in silence hung, 

On the dark cypress sleep ? 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 415 

The poet, all 
Their friend may call ; 
And Nature's self attends his funeral. 

Although with feeble wing 
Thy flight I would pursue, 
"With quicken'd zeal, with humbled pride, 
Alike our object, hopes, and guide, 
One heaven alike in view ; 
True, it was thine 
To tower, to shine : 
But I may make thy milder virtues mine. 

If Jesus own my name 
(Though fame pronounced it never), 
Sweet spirit, not with thee alone, 
But all whose absence here I moan, 
Circling with harps the golden throne, 
I shall unite for ever : 
A death then why 
Tremble or sigh ? 
Oh, who would wish to live, but he who fears to die ! 

JOSIAH CONDER. 
5th Dec. 1807. 



LINES 

Chi the Death of Mr Henry Kirke White. 

BY THE REV. J. PLUMPTRE. 

Such talents and such piety combin'd, 

With such unfeign'd humility of mind, 

Bespoke him fair to tread the way to fame, 

And live an honour to the Christian name. 

But Heaven was pleased to stop his fleeting hour. 

And blight the fragrance of the opening flowi- 

We mourn — but not for him, removed from pain ; 

Our loss, we trust, is his eternal gain : 

With him we'll strive to win the Saviour's love, 

And hope to join him with the blest above. 



24th Oct. 1806. 



416 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 



SONNET 

On Henry KirJce White, 
I. 
Master so early of the various lyre 

Energic, pure, sublime ! — Thus art thou gone ? 

In its bright dawn of fame that spirit flown 
Which breathed such sweetness, tenderness, and fire ! 
Wert thou but shown to win us to admire, 

And veil in death thy splendour ? — but unknown 

Their destination who least time have shone, 
And brightest beam'd. — When these the Eternal Sire, 

ii. 
— Righteous and wise, and good are all his ways — 

Eclipses as their sun begins to rise, 
Can mortal judge, for their diminish 'd days, 
What blest equivalent in changeless skies, 
What sacred glory waits them ! — His the praise ; 
Gracious, whate'er he gives, whate'er denies. 

C. Lofft. 
24th Oct. 1808. 



SONNET, 

Occasioned by the Death of H. EirJce White. 

I. 

Yes, fled already is thy vital fire, 

And the fair promise of thy early bloom 

Lost, in youth's morn extinct ; sunk in the tomb : 

Mute in the grave sleeps thy enchanted lyre ! 

And is it vainly that our souls aspire ? 
Falsely does the presaging heart presume 
That we shall live beyond life's cares and gloom ; 

Grasps it eternity with high desire, 

ii. 
But to imagine bliss, feel woe, and die ; 

Leaving survivors to worse pangs than death ? 

Not such the sanction of the Eternal Mind. 
The harmonious order of the starry sky, 

And awful revelation's angel-breath, 
Assure these hopes their full effect shall find. 

2511i Dec. 1808. 



C. L. 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 417 



WRITTEN IN THE HOMER OF MR H. KIRKE WHITE. 
Presented to me by his Brother J. Neville White, 
I. 
Bard of brief days, but ah, of deathless fame ! 
While on these awful leaves my fond eyes rest, 
On which thine late hare dwelt, thy hand late prest, 
I pause ; and gaze regretful on thy name. 
By neither chance, nor envy, time, nor flame, 
Be from this its mansion dispossest ! 
But thee Eternity clasps to her breast, 
And in celestial splendour thrones thy claim. 

11. 
No more with mortal pencil shalt thou trace 

An imitative radiance :• thy pure lyre 
Springs from our changeful atmosphere's embrace, 

And beams and breathes in empyreal fire : 
The Homeric and Miltonian sacred tone 
Responsive hail that lyre congenial to their own. 

C. LOFFT. 
Bury, 11th Jan. 1807. 



LINES 



On the Death of Mr Henry Kirke White, late of St John's 
College, Cambridge. 

WRITTEN ABOUT AND IN THAT COLLEGE. 

Sorrows are mine — then let me joys evade, 
And seek for sympathies in this lone shade. 
The glooms of death fall heavy on my heart, 
And, between life and me, a truce impart. 
Genius has vanished in its opening bloom, 
And youth and beauty wither in the tomb ! 

Thought, over prompt to lend th' inquiring eye, 
Pursues thy spirit through futurity. 
Does thy aspiring mind new powers essay, 
Or in suspended being wait the day, 
AVhen earth shall fall before the awful train 
Of Heaven and Virtue's everlasting reign ? 

* Alluding to a pencilled sketch of his, of a head surrounded with 1 
glory. 



2 D 



418 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 



May goodness, which thy heart did once enthrone, 
Emit one ray to meliorate my own ! 
And for thy sake, when time affliction calm, 
Science shall please, and Poesy shall charm. 
I turn my steps whence issued all my woes, 
Where the dull courts monastic glooms impose ; 
Thence fled a spirit whose unbounded scope 
Surpass'd the fond creations e'en of hope. 

Along this path thy living step has fled, 
Along this path they bore thee to the dead. 
All that this languid eye can now survey 
Witness'd the vigour of thy fleeting day : 
And witness'd all, as speaks this anguish'd tear, 
The solemn progress of thy early bier. 

Sacred the walls that took thy parting breath, 
Own'd thee in life, encompass'd thee in death ! 

Oh ! I can feel as felt the sorrowing friend 
Who o'er thy corse in agony did bend ; 
Dead as thyself to all the world inspires, 
Paid the last rites mortality requires ; 
Closed the dim eye that beam'd with mind before ; 
Composed the icy limbs to move no more ! 

Some power the picture from my memory tear, 
Or feeling will rush onward to despair. 

Immortal hopes ! come, lend your blest relief, 
And raise the soul bowed down with mortal grief ; 
Teach it to look for comfort in the skies : 
Earth cannot give what Heaven's high will denies. 
Cambridge, Nov. 1808. 



TO THE MEMORY OF H. K. WHITE. 

BY A LADY. 

If worth, if genius to the world are dear, 
To Henry's shade devote no common tear. 
His worth on no precarious tenure hung, 
From genuine piety his virtues sprung : 
If pure benevolence, if steady sense, 
Can to the feeling heart delight dispense ; 
If all the highest efforts of the mind, 
Exalted, noble, elegant, refined, 
Call for fond sympathy's heartfelt regret, 
Ye sons of genius, pay the mournful debt : 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 



419 



His friends can truly speak how large his claim 
And " Life was only wanting to his fame." 
Art Thou, indeed, dear youth, for ever fled ? 
So quickly number'd with the silent dead. 
Too sure I read it in the downcast eye, 
Hear it in mourning friendship's stifled sigh. 
Ah ! could esteem, or admiration, save 
So dear an object from th' untimely grave. 
This transcript faint had not essay 'd to tell, 
The loss of one beloved, revered so well. 
Vainly I try, even eloquence were weak, 
The silent sorrow that I feel, to speak. 
No more my hours of pain thy voice will cheer, 
And bind my spirit to this lower sphere : 
Bend o'er my suffering frame with gentle sigh, 
And bid new fire relume my languid eye : 
No more the pencil's mimic art command, 
And with kind pity guide my trembling hand ; 
Nor dwell upon the page in fond regard, 
To trace the meaning of the Tuscan bard. 
Vain all the pleasures Thou canst not inspire, 
And " in my breast th' imperfect joys expire." 
I fondly hoped thy hand might grace my shrine. 
And little dreamed I should have wept o'er thine : 
In Fancy's eye methought I saw thy lyre 
AVith virtue's energies each bosom fire ; 
I saw admiring nations press around, 
Eager to catch the animating sound : 
And when, at length, sunk in the shades of night, 
To brighter worlds thy spirit wing'd its flight, 
Thy country hail'd thy venerated shade, 
And each graced honour to thy memory paid. 
Such was the fate hope pictured to my view — 
But who, alas ! e'er found hope's visions true ? 
And, ah ! a dark presage, when last we met, 
Sadden'd the social hour with deep regret ; 
"When Thou thy portrait from the minstrel drew, 
The living Edwin starting on my view — 
Silent, I asked of heaven a lengthened date ; 
His genius thine, but not like thine his fate. 
Shuddering I gazed, and saw too sure reveal'd, 
The fatal truth, by hope till then conceal'd. 
Too strong the portion of celestial flame 
For its weak tenement, the fragile frame ; 



J 



420 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 

Too soon for us it sought its native sky, 

And soared impervious to the mortal eye ; 

Like some clear planet, shadow'd from our sight, 

Leaving behind long tracks of lucid light : 

So shall thy bright example fire each youth 

With love of virtue, piety, and truth. 

Long o'er thy loss shall grateful Granta mourn, 

And bid her sons revere thy favour'd urn. 

When thy loved flower " Spring's victory makes known," 

The primrose pale shall bloom for thee alone : 

Around thy urn the rosemary well spread, 

Whose " tender fragrance" — emblem of the dead — 

Shall " teach the maid whose bloom no longer lives," 

That " virtue every perish 'd grace survives." 

Farewell ! sweet Moralist ; heart-sick'ning grief 

Tells me in duty's paths to seek relief, 

With surer aim on faith's strong pinions rise, 

And seek hope's vanish'd anchor in the skies, 

Yet still on thee shall fond remembrance dwell, 

And to the world thy worth delight to tell ; 

Though well I feel unworthy Thee the lays 

That to thy memory weeping Friendship pays. 



STANZAS, 

Supposed to have been written at the Grave of H. K. White. 

BY A LADY. 
I. 

Ye gentlest gales ! oh, hither waft, 

On airy undulating sweeps, 
Your frequent sighs, so passing soft, 

Where he, the youthful Poet, sleeps! 
He breathed the purest, tenderest sigh, 
The sigh of sensibility. 

II. 
And thou shalt lie, his fav'rite flower, 

Pale Primrose, on his grave reclined : 
Sweet emblem of his fleeting hour, 

And of his pure, his spotless mind ! 
Like thee, he sprung in lowly vale ; 
And felt, like thee, the trying gale. 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 421 

III. 

Nor hence thy pensive eye seclude, 

O thou, the fragrant Rosemary, 
Where he, " in marble solitude, 

So peaceful, and so deep," doth lie ! 
His harp prophetic sung to thee 
In notes of sweetest minstrelsy. 

IV. 

Ye falling dews, oh ! ever leave 
Your crystal drops these flow'rs to steep ! 

At earliest morn, at latest eve, 
Oh, let them for their Poet weep ! 

For tears bedew'd his gentle eye, 

The tears of heavenly sympathy. 

V. 

Thou western Sun, effuse thy beams ; 

For he was wont to pace the glade, 
To watch in pale uncertain gleams, 

The crimson-zoned horizon fade — 
Thy last, thy settling radiance pour, 
"Where he is set to rise no more. 



ODE 
(hi the late Henry Rirke White* 

Akd is the minstrel's voyage o'er ? 

And is the star of genius fled ? 
And will his magic harp no more, 

Mute in the mansions of the dead, 
Its strains seraphic pour ? 

A pilgrim in this world of woe, 
Condemn'd, alas ! awhile to stray, 

Where bristly thorns, where briers grow, 
He bade, to cheer the gloomy way, 

Its heavenly music flow. 

And oft he bade, by fame inspired, 
Its wild notes seek th' ethereal plain, 

Till angels, by its music fired, 

Have, list'ning, caught th' ecstatic strain, 

Have wonder'd, and admired. 



422 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 



But now secure on happier shores, 
With choirs of sainted souls he sings ; 

His harp th' Omnipotent adores, 
And from its sweet, its silver strings 

Celestial music pours. 

And though on earth no more he'll weave 
The lay that's fraught with magic fire, 

Yet oft shall fancy hear at eve 
His now exalted, heavenly lyre 

In sounds ^olian grieve. 



Juvenis. 



B. Stoke. 



REFLECTIONS, 

On reading the Life of the late henry Kirke White. 

BY WILLIAM HOLLOWAY, AUTHOR OF " THE PEASANT'S FATE." 

Darling of science and the Muse, 
How shall a son of song refuse 

To shed a tear for thee ? 
To us so soon, for ever lost, 
What hopes, what prospects have been cross'd 

By Heaven's supreme decree ? 

How could a parent, love-beguiled, 
In life's fair prime resign a child 

So duteous, good, and kind ? 
The warblers of the soothing strain 
Must string the elegiac lyre in vain 

To soothe the wounded mind ! 

Yet Fancy, hov'ring round the tomb, 
Half envies, while she mourns, thy doom, 

Dear poet, saint, and sage ! 
Who into one short span, at best, 
The wisdom of an age comprest, 

A patriarch's lengthen 'd age ! 

To him a genius sanctified, 
And purged from literary pride, 
A sacred boon was given : 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 423 



Chaste as the Psalmist's harp, his lyre 
Celestial raptures could inspire, 
And lift the soul to Heaven. 

'Twas not the laurel earth bestows, 
'Twas not the praise from man that flows, 

With classic toil he sought : 
He sought the crown that martyrs wear, 
When rescued from a world of care ; 

Their spirit, too, he caught. 

Here come, ye thoughtless, vain, and gay, 
"Who idly range in Folly's way, 

And learn the ivorih of time : 
Learn ye, whose days have run to waste, 
How to redeem this pearl at last, 

Atoning for your crime. 

This flower, that droop'd in one cold clime 
Transplanted from the soil of time 

To immortality, 
In full perfection there shall bloom : 
And those who now lament his doom 

Must bow to God's decree. 
London, 27th Feb. 1S03. 



TO THE MEMORY OF H. K. WHITE. 

BY THE REV. W. B. COLLYER, D,D. 

O, lost too soon ! accept the tear 
A stranger to thy memory pays ! 
Dear to the muse, to science dear ! 
In the young morning of thy days ! 

All the wild notes that pity loved 
Awoke, responsive still to thee, 
While o'er the lyre thy fingers roved 
In softest, sweetest harmony. 

The chords that in the human heart, 
Compassion touches as her own, 
Bore in thy symphonies a part — 
With them in perfect unison. 



424 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 

Amidst accumulated woes, 
That premature afflictions bring, 
Submission's sacred hymn arose, 
"Warbled from every mournful string 

When o'er thy dawn the darkness spread, 
And deeper every moment grew ; 
When rudely round thy youthful head 
The chilling blasts of sickness blew. 

Religion heard no 'plainings loud, 
The sigh in secret stole from thee ; 
And Pity, from the " dropping cloud," 
Shed tears of holy sympathy. 

Cold is that heart in which were met 
More virtues than could ever die ; 
The morning-star of hope is set — 
The sun adorns another sky. 

partial grief I to mourn the day 
So suddenly o'erclouded here, 
To rise with unextinguished ray — 
To shine in a superior sphere ! 

Oft genius early quits this sod, 
Impatient of a robe of clay, 
Spreads the light pinion, spurns the clod, 
And smiles, and soars, and steals away. 

But more than genius urged thy flight, 
And mark'd the way, dear youth ! for thee : 
Henry sprang up to worlds of light, 
On wings of immortality I 
Blaokheath-hill, 24th June 1808. 



ON THE DEATH OF HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 

BY THOMAS PARK, ESQ., F.A.S. 

Too, too prophetic did thy wild note swell, 
Impassion 'd minstrel ! when its pitying wail 

Sigh'd o'er the vernal primrose as it fell 
Untimely, wither'd by the northern gale.* 

* <; Clifton Grove." 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 425 

Thou wert that flower of promise and of prime ; 

Whose opening bloom, 'mid many an adverse blast, 
Charm'd the lone wanderer through this desert clime, 

But charm'd him with a rapture soon o'ercast, 
To see thee languish into quick decay. 

Yet was not thy departing immature ! 
For ripe in virtue thou wert reft away, 

And pure in spirit, as the blest are pure ; 
Pure as the dew-drop, freed from earthly leaven, 
That sparkles, is exhaled, and blends with heaven !* 



TO THE MEMORY OF HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 

BY A LADY. 

(From the Associate Minstrels.) 

While in full choir the solemn requiem swells, 
And bids the tranced thought sublimely soar, 
While Sorrow's breath inspires responsive shells, 
One strain of simple grief my reed would pour : 
No splendid offering 
Of lofty praise I bring ; 
Yet, sainted spirit ! own the pensive tear 
Shed in sad tribute on thine early bier. 

Soft as the airs that fan the waking spring, 
And on the margin of some melting rill, 
In nrusic wild their sounds ^Eolian fling, 

When the pale North regains his empire chill, 
And all his fury dies, 
Thy touching minstrelsies 
With magic sweetness on thy spring arose, 
Then faintly murmuring, sunk to deep repose. 

For thee his glowing torch did Genius fire ! 
Who now its meteor brightness shall recall ? 
Too soon he bore it to thy funeral, 
And bid in drowning tears its flame expire. 
For thee did Fancy weave a chaplet wild, 
And from her woodland bower, 
With many a forest flower 
Enwreathe the brows of her much-favoured child ! 

* Young, I think, says of Narcissa, "she sparkled, was exhaled, 
and went to heaven." 



426 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 

Still they preserve a lasting bloom, 
But, ah ! they blossom on thy tomb ? 

Hush'd is the melting cadence of the lyre 
That once could sweetest melodies impart; 
Its soften VI echoes vibrate on the heart, 
But dews of death have quench 'd the poet's Gre. 
Sure — 'twas a phoenix flame ; 
Kindled from heaven it came, 
And with its native spark so closely blended, 
That soon to heaven impell'd, it re-ascended. 

As wandering o'er the waste of desert lands, 

Some wearied pilgrim seeks a holy shrine, 
And speeds him o'er the blaze of torrid sands, 

His soul with purest ardour to refine ; 
So to thy sacred turf would I repair, 

And while on Fame's recording page I see 
Thy polish'd graces, and thy virtues fair, 

Thy wisdom mild or heaven-taught piety, 
The vestige of thy worth would share, 
And thence some precious relic bear. 

What, though no longer beaming here below, 
Thy radiant star of life has ceased to burn, 
Still shall its fire on Fancy's vision glow, 

And Memory shed her moonbeam on thine urn. 
Though early vanish'd hence, an angel band 

Marked its swift progress o'er this realm of night, 
Watch 'd the last lustre of its parting light, 
And hailed its rising on a fairer land, 
Above the flaming zone of day 
Sparkling with exhaustless ray, 
Fixed, shall it shine with living glory bright 
When Time's last midnight long has rolled away. 



A REFLECTION 

On the early Death of Henry Kirke While. 

BY A LADY. 

The pensive snowdrop lifts her modest head, 
While yet stern winter binds the icy stream, 

On chilling snow her taper leaves are spread, 
Uncheer'd by balmy dew and summer's beam. 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 427 

Sweet flower ! not long thy spotless heart will fear 
The cruel blast that bows thy slender form : 

Thou wert not made for winter's frown severe ; 
Soon wilt thou droop, unconscious of the storm. 

Thus genius springs, and thus the storms of earth 
ISTip the young bud, just opening to the day : 

Awhile it blooms, to prove its heavenly birth, 
Awhile it charms, then withers, — dies away. 

Thus Henry graced the world — Too soon the power 
Of stern affliction seized his youthful breast ; 

He saw the clouds arise, the tempest lower, 
He bowed his head, and meekly sunk to rest. 



MONODY. 
To the Memory of Henry KirTce White, 

BY JOSEPH BLACKETT.* 

u No marble marks thy couch of lowly sleep, 
But living statues there are seen to weep ; 
Affliction's semblance bends not o'er thy tomb, 
Affliction's self deplores thy youthful doom !" 

Lord Byeox. 

To yon streamlet's rippling flow, 
Through the grove meand'ring slow, 
Heart-heaving sighs of sorrow let me pour, 
And those " living statues'' join, 
For no " marble" grief is mine, 
Mine is sympathy's true tear, 
Love and pity's sigh sincere, 
And to " Affliction's self I give the mournful hour ! 

"What means yon new-raised mould beneath the yew ? 

And why scoop 'd out the coffin's narrow cell, 

Fashion 'd, alas ! to human shape and size ? 

AVhy crawls that earthworm from the dazzling ray 

Of day's unwelcome orb ? xlnd why, at length, 

Lingering, advances, with grief-measured pace, 

The sable hearse, in raven plumes array'd ? 

And hark ! oh, hark ! the deep-toned funeral knell 

Breathes, audible, a sad and sullen sound ! 

* Vide his Poenis. 



428 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 

Alas, poor youth ! for thee this robe of death ! 
Ye Nine, that lave in the Castalian spring, 
Whose full-toned waves, responsive to the strain 
Of your Parnassian harps, with solemn flow, 
Peel the deep dirge around, — pluck each a wreath 
Of baneful yew, and twine it round your lyres, 
For your own Henry sleeps to wake no more ! 

Alas ! alas ! immortal youth ! 
Thine the richly varied song, 
Simple, clear, sublime, and strong ; 

Thy sunny eye beam'd on the page of Truth, 
Thy God adored, and fraught with cherub fire, 
'Twas thine to strike, on earth, a heavenly lyre ! 

Ah ! lost too soon ! through tangled groves, 
'Midst the fresh dews no more 

Pie pensive roves 

The varied Passions to explore. 

Silent, silent, is his tongue, 

Whose notes so powerful through the woodlands rung, 

When on the wing of hoary Time,* 

With energy sublime, 
He soar'd, and left this lessening world below : — 
Hark ! hark ! methinks, e'en now, I hear his numbers flow 
Ah ! no, he sings no more. 

Oh ! thou greedy cormorant fell, 

Death ! insatiate monster ! tell, 

Why so soon was sped the dart 

Which pierced, alas ! his youthful heart ? 

Oh, despoiler ! tyrant ! know, 

When thy arm, that dealt the blow, 

Wither'd sinks, inactive, cold, 

By a stronger arm controll'd, 
Then shall this youth the song of triumph raise, 
Throughout eternity immeasurable days ! 

Bard of nature, heaven-graced child ! 
Sweet, majestic, plaintive, wild; 
Who, on rapid pinion borne, 
Swifter than the breeze of morn, 
Circled now the Aonian mount, 
Now the Heliconian fount, 

* One of Kirlcc White's most animated and beautiful Poems, en- 
titled " Time." 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 429 

Teach me to string thy harp, and wake its strain 
To mourn thy early fate, till every chord complain ! 

No ! let thy harp remain, 
On yon dark cypress hung, 
By death unstrung ; 

To touch it were profane ! 

But, now, oh ! now, at this deep hour, 

"While I feel thy thrilling power ; 

While I steal from pillow'd sleep, 

O'er thy urn to bend and weep ; 

Spirit, robed in crystal light, 

On the fleecy clouds of night, 

Descend ; and, oh ! my breast inspire, 

With a portion of thy fire ; 

Teach my hand, at midnight's noon, 
Plover o'er me while I sing, 
Oh ! spirit loved and bless 'd, attune the string ! 

Yes, now, when all around are sunk in rest ; 
And the night-vapour sails along the west ; 
When darkness, brooding o'er this nether ball, 
Encircles nature with her sable pall ; 
Still let me tarry, heedless of repose, 
To pour the bosom's — not the Muse's, woes ! 
To thy loved mem'ry heave the sigh sincere, 
And drop a kindred, — a prophetic, tear ! 

Fast flow, ye genial drops — > 

Gush forth, ye tender sighs ! 
And who, dear shade ! can tell — but — 
While thus I, mournful, pause and weep for Thee, 
Shortly a sigh may heave, — a tear be shed, for me t 



TO MR H. K. WHITE. 

Hark ! 'tis some sprite who sweeps a fun'ral knell 
For Dermody no more. That fitful tone 
From Eolus' wild harp alone can swell, 

Or Chatterton assumes the lyre unknown. 

No ; list again ! 'tis Bateman's fatal sigh 

Swells with the breeze, and dies upon the stream : 

'Tis Margaret mourns, as swift she rushes by, 
Roused by the daemons from adulterous dream. 



430 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 

Oh, say, sweet youth ! what genius fires thy soul ? 

The same which tuned the frantic nervous strain 
To the wild harp of Collins ?— By the pole, 

Or 'mid the seraphim and heav'nly train, 
Taught Milton everlasting secrets to unfold, 
To sing Hell's flaming gulf, or Heav'n high arch'd with 
gold? 

H AVelker. 



SONNET, 
In Memory of Mr H. K. White. 

" 'Tis now the dead of night," and I will go 
To where the brook soft-murmuring glides along 

In the still wood ; yet does the plaintive song 
Of Philomela through the welkin flow ; 
And while pale Cynthia carelessly doth throw 

Her dewy beams the verdant boughs among, 

"Will sit beneath some spreading oak tree strong, 
And intermingle with the streams my woe : 
Hush'd in deep silence every gentle breeze ; 

No mortal breath disturbs the awful gloom ; 
Cold, chilling dew-drops trickle down the trees, 

And every flower withholds its rich perfume : 
'Tis sorrow leads me to that sacred ground 
Where Henry moulders in a sleep profound ! 



J. G. 



LINES 

Written on reading the " Remains of Henry Kirke White, of Not- 
tingham, late of St John's College, Cambridge ; with an Account 
of his Life, by Robert Southey, Usq." 

BY MRS M. H. HAY. 

Thy gentle spirit now is fled, 
Thy body in its earthy bed 
Js laid in peaceful sleep ; 



TRIBUTARY VERSES. 431 

A spirit good and pure as thine, 
Best in immortal scenes can shine, 
Though friends are left to weep. 

When in this dreary dark abode, 
Bewildered in life's mazy road, 

The weary trav'ller sighs ; 
A rising star sometimes appears, 
Illumes the path, his bosom cheers, 

And lights him to the skies. 

Oh, had thy valued life been spared, 
Hadst thou the vineyard's labour shared, 

What glowing fruits of love 
Thou mightst have added to the stores 
Purchased by Him thy soul adores 

Now in the realms above. 

Ah ! loss severe ! reflect, ye great, 
Ye rich, ye powerful, on the fate 

Of merit's early doom ; 
Those dazzling gems ye so much prize, 
Perhaps in dread array may rise 

In judgment from the tomb. 

A single gem of useless show, 
Might everlasting lustre throw 

Upon the eternal mind ; 
Did gentle offices employ 
Those hours which fashion's ways destroy, 

Those hours for good design'd. 

Peruse the letters of a youth, 

Whose pen was dipt in heavenly truth, 

His virtuous struggles trace ; 
Then will thy melting bosom bleed, 
And quicken there the precious seed 

Of self-renewing grace. 

Then will be clearly understood, 
" The luxury of doing good :" 

And O ! how happy they 
Whose means are great, and hearts are large, 
Who best the sacred trust discharge 

To Him who will repay. 



432 TRIBUTARY VERSES. 



ON VISITING THE TOMB OF II. K. WHITE. 

EY MRS M. H. HAY. 

Oh ! spirit of the blest, forgive 
The mortal tear — the mortal sigh ; 

Thou knowest what it was to live, 
And feel each human agony. 

I would not raise thy mouldering form, 
Nor bring thy spirit from above, 

Could I a miracle perform, 
Much as thy beauteous soul I love. 

No, all I ask in fervent prayer, 

As o'er thy silent tomb I bend, 
That I, in heavenly scenes may share 

Thy converse, and become thy friend. 



THE END. 



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